Top positive review
An excellent line up of stories - variety and quality!
14 May 2013
An anthology of different authors is always going to be a mixed bag and that can be a strength or a weakness - to be a strength it needs to be consistent in quality and keep its variety in its content. I'm happy to say that this one works nicely.
The two longest stories, which feel like the backbone of the book, are long enough to be short novellas.
The first of these, Donetsk Calling by Alex Shaw is part of his Hetman series of thrillers and although part of a series it stands alone very well - however, if you have read the other two novels (Hetman, and Cold Black (Hetman 2)) then you'll enjoy seeing the return of some familiar characters. Set in Kiev, in The Ukraine, this features Aiden Snow, former SAS and now SIS agent, seeking to help an old friend who would appear to have been kidnapped. Shaw knows the city well and understands its politics and underworld, making good use of this to weave a story with a little twist amongst the action to keep it interesting.
The second of these is by Liam Saville, a new author who is seeking to start a new series of his own with Predator Strike. Ex-Australian military, he again knows his stuff, introducing Sam Ryan a captain in the Military Police making a blend of the Military Thriller and Mystery genres. Like Shaw, Saville makes good use of his knowledge and experience to create a convincing thriller out of an entertaining premise, and again, giving us a little twist in the tale. I shall definitely be looking out for more offerings from this author.
There are two stories from Stephen Leather: Hiatus and Breaking In, both of which feature burglars (albeit very different in methods) who find their efforts taking very unexpected turns. Rather than being action pieces, these are stories about the grittier side of crime and murder and, as you might expect from this author, they make for entertaining reading and great additions to this mix.
Four other tales complete the line up...
The Assassin's Mistress, a hit-man finds his personal and professional lives on a collision.
In Best Served Cold, a man is awoken in the night to find himself the prime suspect in his wife's murder.
Goodbye Marian, Sorry, an ordinary Joe with a penchant for making right guesses finds help from the woman he kidnaps after awaking to find himself lying next to the body of his maid.
In Under Cover of Death, a Taliban soldier finds himself suspected of being a traitor and having to make an impossible choice.
All in all, this is great value for a good helping of varied entertainment - Five stars from me!