Customer Review

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Nonstop Actioner, 13 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Severance Kill (Martin Calvary Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This novel, about an assassin chasing quarry, starts with action that continues straight through to the end. Reading it is like watching a destruction derby, with good guys and bad guys as moving parts. The author lays on movement, action and violence, providing plenty of graphic bloody details, offering an expert's lesson in anatomy. Action hurtles forward at breakneck speed, abetted by frequent changes in viewpoint from hunter to hunted during the numerous chases.

In the first few chapters, I experienced some confusion sorting out the characters and their relationships. It soon became clear that the novel involves four separate groups of people with exotic names (e.g.,Yaroslavovna, Tamarkin, Oleg, Arkady, Blazek, Grechko) and even a Welshman named Dafyydd Llewellyn. For a while I considered the possibility the names were an inside joke I didn't get. I was relieved to find that, after I read on, everything fell into place.

The main character is Martin (AKA Calvary) who works for an ultra-secret branch of British Intelligence service (codename Chapel). He was hired from the Army after proving his talents during combat. He knows his handler but little else about Chapel. Martin is intelligent, skilled with weapons, willing to risk his life to serve his country. He has killed several men and is close to burnout, but Chapel will not release him until he performs one more job. The target is a former British diplomat named Gaines, once a double agent for the Russians.

The action starts. In a nutshell's nutshell, it goes something like this: Martin locates Gaines, pursues him, Russians join the chase and interfere, organized crime figures join the chase and interfere, underground activists join the fray on Martin's side, and the story works its way to a conclusion, with a twist at the end, and then another twist. What I left out in the framework just given is the violent action at each intersection of parties, which includes car chases, shootouts, foot chases, stabbings, scuffles, torture, grenade launching, and the like.

Steven's writing is superb, intelligent and filled with energy. The entire enterprise is tight and well-edited, without a wasted word. Overall, an impressive book. Highly recommended.
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