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Customer Review

13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sustains a frenetic pace til the end, 11 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Target (Hardcover)
This is my third Simon Kernick thriller. If you want non-stop adrenalin-filled action, he's your man. His books take off at 500 miles an hour and don't let up. Target is no exception.

Rob Fallon goes home from a nightclub with a friend's ex-girlfriend (Jenny). They are interrupted by two armed men who break in and abduct Jenny. Rob manages to escape but when he goes to the police, he finds that there is no evidence that a crime was committed: her apartment appears untouched and her father claims she's away on holiday. Rob is in danger and desperate to get the police to believe him.

The essential structure of this book is very similar to his last (Deadline) but it's a better book. Kernick's books usually fall away at the end, but this one stays strong throughout, incorporating a stunning twist towards the end that is most unusual for this genre.

The book is what it is: if you want a fast-paced, undemanding escapist read, it's perfect.

However I felt that the action was unnecessarily fast and improbable: to the point that on at least two occasions I wondered if I was reading a dream sequence. The story is also let down by silly inconsistencies and improbabilities, from the minor (Rob loses his mobile phone but the next morning receives a phone call when he's out for a walk) to the more significant: Why would the ruthless villain not have killed Rob when he got the chance, rather than threatening him and letting him go? Jenny told Rob that she had been on a work trip the week before, but later it seemed that she was unemployed. Did she lie and if so, why?

While the book features the police officers who have made appearances in previous Kernick novels (Mike Bolt, his offsider Mo and Tina Boyd), their character development from book to book has been negligible.

I read this book on holiday and I enjoyed it very much, but its flaws anchor it in the 3 star territory for me.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Oct 2009 17:39:04 BDT
Nick Brett says:
Been waiting a long time to see what you made of this. Agree with your review but I went four stars (although I agree there are a few inconsistancies). Probably what upped it for me was the unexpected way he deals with his lead character.
Quite enjoy the way previous cops make almost cameo appearences. Think he is writing another Denis Milne book, which I am looking forward to big time!
Nick

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2009 00:43:41 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 14 Oct 2009 00:29:37 BDT]

Posted on 14 Oct 2009 22:13:13 BDT
Julia Flyte says:
Hi Nick, Yes it was totally unexpected wasn't it?!

It was particularly the hospital attack that tipped it over the edge for me. I really don't think it added anything. Also (trying to not give away plot elements here) when he found out the surprise person who was involved - that was never really explained. Why were they part of it? What had they contributed to the entire puzzle? There's a lot to be said for slowing down a fraction and pulling the pieces together. J

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2009 18:10:52 GMT
janie says:
Hi Julia - the 'suprise' person was linked to Jenny. since she was murdered, clearly he would become involved as he was linked to her, hope my explanation helps, its difficult trying to explain without giving away any of the plot.

I really loved this book though - read it in 2 sittings, must admit i was so shocked with the suprise twist concering the main character, kept thinking about it for days,

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2009 20:17:23 GMT
Julia Flyte says:
Hi Girlie, yes I did (eventually) get that and I agree it's hard to discuss without giving things away. But I still don't really get why he chose to get involved and what was in it for him? It felt like the author had chosen to have them involved to contribute a twist (and it's a good twist) rather than because it stood up to logic. To me anyway. Thanks for your comment though! And I totally agree about being shocked with the main character - I definitely was! Julia
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