Chris Ryan has written an absolutely foul book. Poorly crafted, badly written, barely believable plot and disgusting language. I have read all his previous books and they are getting worse the more he churns them out.
I have read other Chris Ryan books and had no hesitation in buying and reading this one. Not difficult to read but a bit long! I felt by the time Bald had left Florida, the story had run its course and the target should have been secured. Then again, once I got used to the idea of another segment, I settled down again and it was fine. I have no idea how plausible this story is in terms of the ways in which SAS soldiers can get out of scrapes but I think Bald should have died a few times in this story. This aspect felt a bit far fetched to me: that's not to try to suggest that some of these escapes couldn't have happened, but ALL of them??
I thought Bald was quoted as being 6 feet 3 inches early on in the book but as he got to China he had become 6 feet 5 inches! I might be wrong there!
I thought the story was interesting enough and it did keep me engaged right to the end but I thought there was more than enough foul language to be frank. I know that rough, tough soldiers might eff and blind a lot but I always take the view that a young child might pick up a book and if they do, I don't want them to be able to read the worst words the language has to offer.
Not Ryan's best but still worth reading if you like special forces stories.
This was actually my first Chris Ryan novel, I know he's done loads more but from reading this it appeared to be quite amateurish and not very believable. The story is about a drunk, washed up former SAS soldier enlisted on a special mission (not very original). The mission takes him across several countries but it doesn't flow very well and he escapes certain death more times than James Bond. The lead character, John Bald, was not at all likeable. I couldn't care less of he'd died or not, he wasn't heroic at all. I don't mind offensive language, I actually quite enjoy it but only when it's used in the appropriate way, Ryan seems to use it for no apparent reason which seems a bit childish. The book wasn't bad enough for me to not finish it, but based on this I'm not in a hurry to read his other efforts!!
I think this is the worst book that Chris Ryan has written. Sometimes very amateurish and definitely unbelievable. I skipped through quite a few pages because I was bored. Will definitely think twice before I buy another of his books.
This is the second book I've read from the 'Extreme' series, but must be about the 11th or 12th Chris Ryan I've read. Barring a brief slump a few years ago, his writing tends to be smarter than average with exciting plots, challenging threats, characters that maintain interest, and intelligently fought battles. I found the last 'Extreme' book pushed limits in a few places - mostly in good ways. However, I found it odd that Ryan chose John Bald as the hero for the second book in the series. A bit-part player in book 1, he had incredibly dubious motivations and inflicted some pretty appalling violence upon a largely innocent female character. Why would he make this guy the lead? I started Night Strike with an open mind - maybe Bald had hidden orders that explained his actions in the last book - or at least maybe he'd prove a more rounded character this time. Unfortunately not - Bald remains basically despicable for the entirety of the novel. Worse - astoundingly unprofessional and rubbish at his job. When MI6 say they need ex-SAS specialists to carry out a job because it's such a challenge, you imagine they'll go for the most efficient, reliable operator. Instead, for the whole book we're lumbered with a lead who's either heavily drunk or trying to get there, with a recurring injury that makes him largely ineffective in a fight, motivated only by selfishness or anger and incredibly petty jealousies, and misses every opportunity to actually carry out the mission. Even worse - the surrounding characters also suffer from equally grave failings. For a man who's previously written compelling special forces characters, you can't imagine Ryan wanted to paint the impression of all of the ex-SAS characters as drunken, drug-abusing murderers. And yet here, that's what he does. All the cast are knee-deep in illegal deals, drugs and vendettas, turning a total blind eye to any attempt to protect innocents or use the slightest shred of integrity. Multiple innocents are cold-bloodedly abandoned to horrific fates without a bat of an eyelid, because the leads don't want to mess up a payday. Here, damage suffered in war and abuse at the hands of Whitehall is used as an excuse for them becoming little better than gang leaders or drug lords. All Bald cares about is money and the chance of unlikely sex with any/all of the women he dimly belittles in the book. Forget any notions of heroism, caring, or even efficiency: Bald misses opportunities and makes poor decisions with clockwork regularity and then tries to bulldoze his way through situations with the dumb-headed aggression of a brain-damaged bulldog. Several times we're expected to believe that he prevails in a fight because of his highly-trained instincts and better improvisation skills - but it's extremely hard to reconcile that with a man who drunkenly and abusively blunders from missed opportunity to screwed-up chance and back again without a flicker of intelligence. Again and again, you'll be asking yourself questions like "that guy was right there - why didn't he shoot him???" only for the book to fail to provide any answer except that he reacted too late. The book also suffers from leaving the readers dangling on a handful of major unresolved plot threads - the same as the last in the series. I'm all for hard-edged challenging reads with imperfect characters, but when 'what a wasteful, pointless mess-up' explains both the lead character and absolutely all his actions, it's hard to recommend. Some brief action sequences are good, especially the climax. However, it's a bitter experience that's for completists only
I chose this book because I just live the non stop action, twisting and turning plots and masses of guns and explosions that are guaranteed in any Chris Ryan book. This one didn't disappoint. Although not my favourite Ryan book it is still a gripping, easy to read, action novel that does exactly what it's supposed to. I would recommend this to all action fans weather you are a Ryan fan or not.