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Tough Thriller is all Action,
This review is from: Gray Retribution (A Tom Gray Novel Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Gray Retribution By Alan McDermott
This young author knows how to grasp the reader's attention--and then hold on to it.
This latest work in his oeuvre is typically one continual flow of action and incident, as the hero, Tom Gray, is drawn away from his home and his wife and young daughter to go to the aid of his employees, all tough ex-soldiers, on duty for his security firm in Africa.
What I have always liked about McDermott's central character, Tom Gray, is the fact that he goes against the fashionable image of the cynical and disillusioned "anti-hero." Gray is a man with strong beliefs and loyalties--to his men, to his wife and young daughter, to his friends.
Although he has decided to stay away from direct combat out of concern for his family, he feels that he has to go to the aid of his men when they find themselves trapped in the typically African chaos of a cynical uprising and brutal insurgency.
But before he makes this decision to go to Africa he has a chance contact with a gangster who runs a protection racket among business people - and out of deference to his wife's wishes that he stay out of trouble, he lets the incident ride.
The African guerrilla warfare is depicted, accurately, as vicious and brutal, with young boys dragooned into military action and then drugged into submission by ambitious and ruthless men who are out to swell their bank accounts rather than serving the interests of their own people.
The writing catches the casual brutality of the criminals exploiting political ambition and there are moments of extreme violence and murderous cruelty.
Tom Gray survives these perils in the heat and murk of the jungle and escapes with the help of a South African, who brings him to safety in Pretoria before he heads back to London.
But what Gray does not know is that while he has been away his family have gained the attention of the gangster he had agreed to let be, and an arsonist has been sent to destroy them.
What's more, there is a senior British security officer who is in the pay of the gangster.
Tom Gray is a man of action and he wants to find the arsonist and give him a haircut with a blowtorch, but his security colleagues persuade him to leave it to the police. McDermott manages a neat balancing act between Gray's immense grief and desire for revenge and his belief in following the conventional path of justice.
The action becomes more complex and diffuse, building up to a rousing and satisfying confrontation which combines regular police action and the freelance aggression which Gray and his men are masters of.
Once again, as with the author's previous work, I enjoyed his skill, his human sensibilities and his characters as I accompanied them on an entertaining adventure along the byways of warfare and gangsterdom and official corruption.
McDermott is a writer who is finding acclaim and a loyal readership.--Prospero.
Rating: Four Action-Packed Stars.
bestsellingcrimethrillers.com was provided with an advanced copy for review.