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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Every so often a thriller comes along that is truly unputdownable. They are few and far between, but this is certainly one of them. The book begins with a real bang - there are murders, kidnappings and several bombs go off in London. It seems as though the city is under attack, but the reality is that the bombs are merely cover for the real mission, which is to storm the Stanhope Hotel on Park Lane. The government is given demands, with the threat that the terrorists will blow up the building if they are not met.

Although the hostage situation is interesting enough, with many sympathetic characters to relate to; including Martin Dalston, who has inoperable cancer and was planning his suicide in the hotel, Elena Serenko, the duty manager at the hotel who has just got engaged and an American tourist, Abby Levinson and her young son, there is a lot more going on in the storyline. There are tensions between the gang of terrorists, personal stresses that the newly promoted Deputy Assistant Commissioner Arley Dale has to cope with, a very important hostage with very sensitive classified information and, also a man in the hotel who had planned a crime of his own and now finds himself trapped.

This novel is hard hitting, fast moving and exciting. It is also extremely well written, with great dialogue and characters. I enjoyed this very much. It is the first book that I have read by this author, but I am sure it will not be the last.
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I've always enjoyed Simon Kernick's gritty London based thrillers, and this one was a new direction for the author. Maintaining the London setting Simon Kernick appeared to have deserted his usual character options (until Tina Boyd appears half way through!) for a hotel siege story. A fancy central London hotel is the target for an audacious terrorist plan (the author tries hard to avoid the standard Muslim fundamentalist route here with some interesting dynamics and viewpoints) and becomes the subject of the siege of the books title. I have to confess it took me a while to get into it and I initially felt slightly dis-engaged - it felt like a typical disaster movie where you are introduced to many characters who will be affected, but have minimal emotional engagement with any of them. But then it really kicks in and your perception of some of the characters changes and you finally join the dots that the author has gently been putting in front of you. Once we get into the siege the action really takes off, as do the twists and the characters and, where the book could have slowed down, it actually speeds up.

From my initial slight dis-engagement I ended up spinning the pages late into the night. To date Simon Kernick has never let me down and this book is no exception.
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on 21 January 2012
I had been waiting for this book to arrive since I first heard about it in early November on Simon's website, although I admit that when I first heard about the plot I had my doubts about this particular book as it seemed a lot different from his previous books. Again the book is set in and around London which to me is more enjoyable than the to the usual set in America novels which are widely available, This book although again set in London was all in one particular place (a Siege in a London Hotel) and all the event's unfold over one evening.
I needn't have any doubts as the story unfolds as superbly as his previous books but the excitement and suspense is raised to a totally different level and although here are a lot of characters in this book and at first you think that you might lose track with who is who, it is wrote in such a way that you remember each character easily and even have your favourites and look forward to the next chapter that features them, each chapter ends in a cliff-hanger style and the short chapters make sure that you don't get bored with any of the characters, I would say after reading all 10 previous Simon Kernick books that this one is my favourite as the thrills and suspense continue from the beginning right to the end. Can't wait for his next book now!
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on 4 July 2014
A real page turner. Original, non stop excitement and well developed characters. I read this in 2 sittings as I just couldn't put it down. Unlike many of the low priced Kindle books, the editing is excellent as is the English. Have read several of this author's writings and he never disappoints. One of his to look out for is 'Relentless'. Well worth reading if you enjoy good well written thrillers.
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on 7 April 2012
Simon Kernick is my all time favourite author and in Siege he has proved once again that he is a master in this genre.
Non-stop action from page-1 and the tension cranked up with every page. It's one of those books you just can't put down. 10 out of 10
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 11 February 2012
This is the story of a terrorist attack on an upmarket London hotel. The action takes place over the course of one day, kicking off with a violent attack on a family one morning. This seems unconnected to the following action but does eventually tie in. We are then introduced to various disparate characters, working at, staying in or visiting the hotel, who are about to get involved in the attack. The book starts off a little slowly, but the pace builds continuously until it becomes one of those books that you simply can't put down. Whilst it bears many of the hallmarks of Simon Kernick's other books - the relentless pace, the flawed hero with a violent past, lots of twists, policemen dealing with threats to their loved ones - it also marks a change from the usual cast of characters. Only one familiar face turns up halfway through (and we are left hanging as to exactly what becomes of them). Having read most of Kernick's books, I know that he has no compunction about killing off his major characters, which added to the tension throughout.

All in all, an exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable read. Not perfect - I would have like to see a couple of loose ends tied up and the ending felt a little rushed. But for sheer entertainment value this delivers in spades.
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on 18 July 2015
I enjoyed Siege, there are some interesting characters to follow which personalised it more, which was a good move as it made it more interesting. Although it wasnt the page turner that Relentless was, I did still want to read it every night and see what happened next. It was a good book and I enjoyed it.
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The problem with writing a novel about a terrorist siege is (as Simon Kernick acknowledges in a postscript) that the action usally takes place at the beginning and the end, with not very much happeneing in between. However, in this novel, Kernick has expertly ensured that the tension never flags from the very first page to the last, with several subplots to keep the reader going.

Some people have complained that the characters in Simon Kernick's novels are cliched and two-dimensional, but they're missing the point. A thriller is not meant to give you any profound insight into the human condition - it's simply a fun, white-knuckle ride piece of entertainment and compared to other thrillers, this is a very successful novel indeed, well plotted, with a good pace throughout. I read it during a long journey and quickly became oblivious to my fellow passengers.

Apart from one minor quibble (why did Simon Kernick had to pick such a daft name - Arley Dale - for his main character?), I would recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Kernick's other novels. In 'Siege', the author is at the top of his game.
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on 19 July 2014
Very fond of Simon Kernick as a thriller/crime writer and this does not disappoint. Yes, it has to be said there is little in the way of deep character development but what this book lacks in deep intelligent literary thought it makes up for in the ferocious action that stars on page one and does not let up until the if you want to escape from the toils and tribulations of the daily life...let facebook go....forget emails...switch off the telly and settle down to good old fashioned storytelling....come on you know you want to and you will not be disapponted :))
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on 24 September 2012
This is not my first novel by this author and once again I was not disappointed. The fast paced, action packed, tight plotting provided a high-speed thrill ride with all its ups and downs, engaging to the very last page. The storyline played my mind like a white-knuckled action film with ruthless violence executed by rogue ex-military specialists. The scenario in "Siege" was inspired by the brutal Mumbai attacks in 2008 when terrorists stormed predetermined strategic locations, indiscriminately slaughtering anyone in their path leaving behind a trail of destruction in order to shock the world.

The author leads by introducing a fascinating list of characters and their credentials before getting to the meat of the action, a 24 hour period when all hell erupts into a day to remember. The intense drama starts with the brutal killing of a young maid who innocently opens the door to her master's domain. Simultaneous attacks are launched at railway stations and shopping centers in an effort to divert attention from the main target the prestigious fictional Stanhope Hotel in central London. The terrorists' goal is to shock and intimidate the rest of the world by holding hotel guests and staff as hostages and threaten to murder them one by one if their demands are not met. The captors strongly underestimate their victims will to live and the ensuing mayhem is a real adrenalin rush. The author adds colour to the drama by entering into the psyche and the past history of each character involved. As time progresses and darkness falls, the gunmen become increasingly violent and the captors more and more determined to increase their chance of survival.

In one of the sub-plots, we see how Arley Dale multi tasks as head detective overseeing the police operation at the hotel and how she handles a personal crisis that arises when she learns her family is one of the terrorists' distractive measures.

This is another exciting thriller that gave me many hours of reading pleasure.
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