Simon Kernick, Author
Simon Kernick. Atria, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4767-0625-2
Reviewed on: 07/07/2014
Release date: 09/09/2014
In this sharp-edged thriller, two of British author Kernick’s characters, Det. Constable Tina Boyd (The Last 10 Seconds) and incarcerated terrorist Fox (Siege), collide after a bomb explodes in a bustling London cafe. A group calling itself the Islamic Command claims responsibility, threatening more mayhem unless the government cedes to its demands. The action takes place in a single day, with time stamps marking the beginning of each chapter (the debt to 24 is acknowledged with a wry nod). The characters are often hastily sketched, but the author’s strength lies in his immersive sense of place, noting all that is rotten in his homeland. Almost everyone is more than a little bit racist, from law enforcement officers to the terrorists themselves. Filled with references to such real-life events as the 7/7 bombings, phone-hacking, and the parliamentary expenses scandal, the novel depicts a country awash in discontent and beset by an atmosphere of insidious—and institutionalized—racial hatred. Agent: Amanda Preston, LBA Literary Agency (U.K.). (Sept.)
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