This is the second book by Kerry Donovan I’ve read, the first being a DCI Cryer. That book didn’t disappoint and this one didn’t either, even though it is a far cry from the police procedural and mystery of the first one.
Off the coast of England, Ryan Kaine balances himself in the swells rocking the boat he hired, trying to establish a lock on his target. Information comes in, and he programs the SAM missile and sends it on its way. Moments later there is an orange explosion in the night sky. Then Kaine notices there is another timer on the targeting display, one indicating an explosion about to occur on the boat. The force of the blast throws him and he hits his head and shoulder but manages to get himself off the boat before it sinks. It’s a six-mile swim in the dark to shore. Is that not a great start? From there it is non-stop action.
The target of the SAM turns out to be a passenger plane. Eighty-three people die, and Kaine is responsible, even though he was told by the people who hired him he was only testing the SAM on a drone. As a result, Kaine, a decorated ex-Royal Marine, becomes the target of a nationwide manhunt. While the police want him on terrorism charges, he is in far more danger from the ruthless organization that hired him. They want him dead to cover their tracks and misdirect the media from the one person on board that plane they wanted to eliminate.
Kaine has his eyes on finding the men who set him up and exacting revenge, while proving his innocence. He must rely on two women to do that: a country vet who treats his wounds, the other an IT expert working in that organization who has a secret of her own.
The story is a barn-burning page-turner, with more twists and turns than a maze. Kaine battles overwhelming guilt and life-threatening injuries, and his hunt for the people who turned him into a mass-murderer is complicated by his own, inflexible moral code. Romance, conspiracy, treachery, danger around every corner – this book has it all.
If I had any quibble with this book, it was the larger than life abilities and healing powers of the protagonist. Time and again, I thought he’d reached his end, but he bounced back in amazing form. After a while, I thought Kaine was Superman. But then Jack Reacher is much the same, and I love his character as well. The author does a good job of drawing the characters in the book – not too much detail, spare prose, and crisp dialogue. It’s a man’s book, for sure, but women who like non-stop action will also enjoy it.
The ending leads directly to the next book, which I’ve already pre-ordered.
About the author
Kerry J Donovan was born in Dublin. Kerry earned a first class honours degree in Human Biology, and has a PhD in Sport and Exercise Sciences. A former scientific advisor to The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, he helped UK emergency first-responders prepare for chemical attacks in the wake of 9/11. This background adds a scientific edge to his writing. He is also a former furniture designer/maker. He is the author of a sci-fi/thriller, The Transition of Johnny Swift, which reached #1 on the Amazon Bestsellers List in December 2014.
A citizen of the world, he now lives in the heart of rural Brittany with his wonderful and patient wife, Jan. They have three children and four grandchildren (so far), all of whom live in England. An absentee granddad, Kerry is hugely grateful for the development of video calling.
You can find Kerry Donovan on
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KerryJDonovan
His blog at: http://kerryjdonovan.com/blog
And on Twitter at: https://www.twitter.com/KerryJDonovan