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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 August 2002
As this was the first book by Chris Ryan that I have read I was a bit unsure about whether I had spent my money correctly (I was debating between this book between one by a more familiar author). But I can easily say that my fears soon dissapeared when I became totally engrossed in the book. The description of the surroundings and problems that the character faced painted a clear picture of the environment as well as the tactics that are employed by the SAS.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the book is that the action does not stop. This results in the book always keeping the reader hooked. The author also painted a good picture about the feelings and friendship within the SAS, no doubt drawing from his own experiences within the regiment. Also I must admit that it was a very interesting way to finish the book, I was impressed.
To sum up, the book is a compulsive read and a must for fans of fiction. Chris Ryan creats a vivid description of the surroundings and the characters as well as giving the reader a sense of the confusion that is present when there is a covert attack. He writes in a way that the reader is instantly thrust into the surroundings that the lead character is in. Well worth the money.
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on 14 January 2001
This is the first Chris Ryan book I have read and it will not be the last. The book was bought for me by my daughter for Christmas and I have praised her for her choice. At one point in the book I found it hard to tell whether I was reading fiction or a factual account of the authors own experiences. Very enjoyable read. Highly believable but an evil way to end a book!
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on 15 November 2001
This is Ryan's first fiction book and possibly his best. It gives a stunning insight into the world of covert operations and has a truly amazing storyline. It is gripping and emotional and throughout the book there is plenty of action, which comes thick and fast. You get a real feel of covert operations reading this book and you don't want to put it down. I really enjoyed it and have read many of his other books after reading this one. A great read. GOOD GOIN'RYAN.
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I like Chris Ryan's books generally, but this book is total nonsense, particularly the Northern Ireland elements of his operation and his involvement with friends and family. He has very obvious knowledge of intelligence gathering in Northern Ireland unsurprisingly, however the "hero" is a total prat and I quickly likened 'Geordie' to being the type of bloke who no-one in his unit would be able to tolerate and his wife and subsequent girlfriend would see as a sound candidate for the Jeremy Kyle show.

Sorry to post the negative review, I just felt that this was rubbish.
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on 24 January 2011
This is the first of Ryan's novels I've read, and the first of his Geordie Sharp novels. It concerns the Provisional IRA, and how Sharp (a member of the SAS) becomes embroiled in a personal crusade to hunt down one of its leaders. I don't want to spoil it any further than that, because the twist and turns are probably the most notable part of the book.

It's a decent read, although there are many rough edges. This was Ryan's debut work of fiction, but I haven't read any others so don't know if his style improves. Again, I don't want to spoil any major plot points, but there was one particular life-changing moment for our Geordie to which his only response was "Oh no!" - which made me laugh. Of course, saying 'oh no' on its own isn't a problem but, given the context and the presence of the exclamation mark, it just didn't seem very convincing. Considering the depth of knowledge he brings to the subject, and his obvious efforts to lend authenticity to the situations, I would hope that Ryan has worked on his characterisation/dialogue in subsequent novels.

Also, the latter stages of the book rely on your suspension of disbelief at one huge coincidence that happens half way round the world in Colombia. It was a little too convenient, imo, even if the seeds had been laid earlier on.

Having said all that, I did enjoy it. There is a great build up of menace that escalates as matters progress, although I felt he could have done much more with it than he actually does. However, the ending has to be read to be believed - it's jaw on the floor stuff.

The Kindle formatting is good, no complaints at all here.
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on 27 May 2005
I made the mistake one night to read a few pages from the book. As I have never read any of chris ryan books did not know what to expect. That was it I could not put the book down. Exellent plots and a great story and well written. Fantastic. Have to read all the other books of his now though.
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on 28 November 2013
Another good book by Chris Ryan but this one does stretch incredulity to the limit and beyond. The SAS waging a war with the PIRA is one thing but but kidnapped girlfriends, friendly Prime Ministers and snipers at Chequers is a bit far fetched. A good read though.
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on 4 March 2015
...read, and the first Chris Ryan book that I've read. Great background and in depth knowledge that can only come from experiencing it yourself. I thought the story built nicely and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.
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on 29 February 2008
I've just started going through his series and after having read "The one that got away", i did not think that this book would be able to beat the storyline. Wrong! Excellent storyline, a bit slow at the beginning, but then on i found it difficult to put it down as the action flowed and just got better and better. It made me think as to if this is a true story due to the realism in the writing. But, when i thought i had read it all; the ending threw me completely. What a great twist! Worth every penny.
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on 3 April 2013
This the first of four stories to feature "Geordie Sharp". This novel is set part in Northern Ireland and part in Columbia and covers a number of classic set-piece SAS actions. They are almost certainly very realist and therefore to be savored and appreciated. The follow-on novel Zero Option is closely connected to this one and should be read in sequence. It is a bit disjointed in parts, with a few loose ends and some elements which don't go where you think they will but there is no shortage of atmosphere without the hour by hour, day by day style of Andy McNab.
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