13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
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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