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No-brainer Military Thriller
on 26 January 2012
I'd never read a Chris Ryan before and picked this up in the airport when I had forgotten my book.
To break it down, this is the story of SAS Captain Alex Temple and various missions around the globe but focusing - primarily - on his tracking of a murderer who has received similar spec-ops training...
Chris Ryan writes, in my opinion, in a dour style that doesn't exactly fizz off the page and portrays the life of an S.A.S. operative with an eye for the mundane. I am sure that it is very 'true to life' but as far as I am aware this is not a historical account - it's a work of fiction! The characters seem to either be ham-fisted stereotypes or wildly inconsistent with dialogue that feels stunted and hackneyed and sometimes makes you want to bite your fist; it's that bad! Oh, and he should be nominated for a bad sex award. Cringeworthy.
However, sometimes he does get it right and portrays the grim reality of life after service for what it is: grim. Ryan does grim very well. The action sequences - the few of them - are relayed with aplomb; with vivid detail and gritty descriptions. The prose seems to come alive when he is describing firefights or helicopters buzzing over a war zone. He obviously knows his stuff and the military detail and insider knowledge he provides is authentic and comprehensive.
But it's like reading an episode of Eastenders when everyone carries guns and any authenticity he brings to the genre is lost in poor dialogue, iffy characters and dull writing. Shall be the only Chris Ryan I read.