4 May 2018



When Hector Cross's life is overturned, he immediately recognizes the ruthless hand of an enemy he has faced many times before. A terrorist group has re-emerged - like a deadly scorpion from beneath its rock.

Determined to fight back, Hector draws together a team of his most loyal friends from his former life in Cross Bow Security, a company originally contracted to protect his beloved wife, Hazel Bannock, and her company, the Bannock Oil Corp. Together they travel to the remotest parts of the Middle East, to hunt down those who pursue him and his loved ones.
- Inner Front Cover Blurb, abridged to avoid spoilers

He came fully awake before he moved or opened his eyes.
- First Sentence, Page 1

She on the other hand, was unarmed, barefooted and dressed in restricted clothing. The tiny bedroom was made even smaller by the bed in the centre. For her particular fighting style she needed space in which to manoeuvre, to retreat and feint.
- Memorable Moment

SOURCE ... Ex-library stock.

  • What's In A Name?: 'A Shape In The Title' category.
  • Mount TBR Reading Challenge: 3 of 12 books.

MY THOUGHTS ... Where to begin?

Perhaps the best place is with main character, Hector Cross.

Now as those who are regulars to my blog know I have long since come to the conclusion that I don't have to like a character in order to, well, enjoy them. However, I do need to be able to believe in them and ideally (a) find them at least vaguely interesting and/or (b) be able to relate to them/understand them in some shape or form. None of which particularly applied to Hector Cross.

Sexist, a misogynist, I didn't like the character but on some level I could at least relate to him. Heck, I could even believe in him ... up to a point.

What I found hard, nay, impossible to believe was his relationship with his highly resourceful wife, Hazel, and, even more so, that with his friend and fellow killer, 'kick-ass', Nastiya/Nazzy. Why these women loved him one thing but to hold him in such high esteem? No, alas, I just didn't believe it.

Cross aside ...

Nothing to do with this being part two in a series. Perfectly readable in its own right, the back story more than adequately covered.

A thriller, I'd expect some violence. What I wasn't expecting (or enjoyed) was the level of nauseating, horrifically gratuitous violence. The sexual violence both perverted and yet at times, with descriptions of the male sexual organ that were so hugely exaggerated, somehow oddly laughable.

Highly implausible. A small fortune spent on relocating to an apartment in another country that is to all intents and purposes kitted out as a small fortress only to go jogging on a deserted beach with your baby daughter in a sling and only a body guard in tow? Yeah, right.

An author I admit to having a love/hate liking for, this certainly isn't one of his better books and is, quite possibly, one of his worst.


Kelly said...

Despite the interesting cover, this didn't sound like one I'd enjoy.... and your review confirmed that.

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it, but at least you've completed one of the WIAN categories. A good thing!

Brian Joseph said...

I agree with you, characters do not have th be likable, but they do have to be interesting and they should be believable.

I agree with Kelly, at least the cover is cool.

Anonymous said...

I, too agree with Kelly
and I will not add this
book to my list.
As well as that I remember
that my father had several
of Wilbur Smith's books on
his shelves.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Greetings Tracy. Thank you for your review. I won't be reading it. Although I have enjoyed some of Wilbur Smith's work in the past. Blessings to you. Love love, Andrew.

Suko said...

Thank you for your honest review of this book.I haven't read any books by this new-to-me author.

Literary Feline said...

This sounds interesting, Tracy. Like you, I don't necessarily have to like a character, but being able to relate to them on some level, even a small one, can be important. I recently read a book that was quite a compelling read, but whose characters I am so glad not to know--nor do I have anything in common with them. I find myself on the fence of what to think of it.

Lindsay said...

Not keen on the cover at all I'm afraid, though I admit it is striking, and not a book for me I don't think. Sorry to hear you didn't get on with it.