2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Heading for 6 stars before a fade,
This review is from: The 500 (Mike Ford 1) (Kindle Edition)
Mike Ford is a struggling and debt-ridden graduate who ends up in an extremely successful but brutal lobbying firm where ethics matter little.
He had a difficult upbringing having lost his mother to cancer and his father to prison. Even though much of what Mike does is in grey areas, Quirk does extremely well in creating a likeable character the reader aligns with without hesitation.
This was a really well-written page-turner for the most part. The games played, the tactics used and the situations the players found themselves in all combined to make the story pretty compelling and intriguing. Edge-of-the-seat stuff for the reader as Mike discovers more and more unsavoury behavior while being invited into the firm's elite levels.
And then it all gets silly at about three-quarters into the book - it was almost as though Michael Connelly wrote the bulk of the book but Simon Kernick was asked to finish it. I lost count of how many lives Mike had and how many chances the firm was prepared to give him once he strayed. I was also amazed by how resourceful he was able to be in impossible situations. And how the inevitable shoot-out was dealt with. It seemed to me that Quirk felt he had to get down the great start he had prepared and would worry about the ending at a later stage - i.e. he wrote most of the novel without knowing how it would end.
I don't want to be too harsh here, because I was absolutely hooked for a very long time. I will definitely look out for more by Quirk in the hope that his next novel is more consistent throughout. 7/10