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“The main character, Nick Stone, returns to the UK on a...”

Written on: 20/03/2007 by Tom H (110 reviews written)

Good Points
The main character, Nick Stone, is developed well by McNab.
The final twist is quite interesting. I didn't expect it (and I will not spoil it here!).
The plot is tough and gritty, and McNab is still refusing to sugar the pill in terms of graphic violence.

Bad Points
The by-play between Stone and the Yes Man is sounding a little tired.

General Comments
The main character, Nick Stone, returns to the UK on a joint CIA-MI6 operation to locate and "deal with" a biological weapon, codenamed "Dark Winter". He is teamed up with a female agent, who is not only pregnant, but is constantly pushing herself to the limit.

The book begins in a powerful way. Stone and his colleague are in south-east Asia, out to assassinate a chemist, and as usual McNab spares no detail.

And, tonce done, this leads Stone back to London, where he must locate London-based terror groups hiding the stuff ready for release on the Underground (using what must be a viable technique). And, once completed, Stone runs afoul of the bad guys who kidnap his semi-adopted daughter.

The Nick Stone series of novels have one key trait: they are gritty and violent. Those who have read the first novel, Remote Control, will remember the chapter when Stone is violently beaten about the head by a fire extinguisher.

And that is no different here. Although only a novel, most readers will be able to imagine what the dying man in the Berlin flat would have looked like (best not to mention it here, but is is fairly revolting), and the shooting of a terrorist in the foot is not pretty. But that is where McNab's skills lie. He describes violence in a direct way. When someone is shot, it is a mess. When beaten, they receive major injuries. None of this glorifies violence, though.

This was the first novel in the series that I read. Having read both Bravo Two Zero and Immediate Action beforehand, I knew I was in for a hard-hitting action thriller, and was right. Unsurprisingly, I took to buying all the other books in the series and reading them in sequence.

I fully recommend McNab's books to anyone who enjoys a thriller.

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