Tuesday 24 October 2017

Review: Deliver us from evil by David Baldacci

(Macmillan, £12.99)

Evan Waller is a monster who has reinvented himself. A Ukrainian who worked for the Soviets and committed mass murder in the name of the state, he now operates in the guise of a respected Canadian businessman.

But his wealth is built on trafficking young women, he is planning to expand into selling nuclear technology to Muslim extremists and at heart remains a ruthless killer. As he arrives in Provence to holiday, surrounded by his security team, little does he know that two clandestine organisations are tracking him, determined to bring him to justice or eliminate him.

American Bill Shaw wants to haul him before an international court that will catalogue his crimes, while Reggie Campion, an agent for a vigilante group headquartered in a musty old English estate, has lethal ideas of her own as to how Waller will be dealt with. But he is always one step ahead of his enemies, and soon Shaw and Campion are forced to cooperate if they are to survive.

David Baldacci's colourful adventure novels have a large and loyal fan base, which won't be at all concerned about outrageously contrived plot twists, baddies straight from central casting, and all-action heroes possessing physical skills way beyond most mortals.

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Review: Rupture by Simon Lelic
(Picador 7.99)

On a swelteringly hot summer day, British schoolteacher Samuel Szajkowski walks into assembly, pulls an old pistol from his pocket and kills three pupils and a colleague before turning the gun on himself. The case is assigned to Lucia May, an ambitious young police officer who is expected to wrap things up quickly without stirring thingsup. After all, the man was clearly a psychopath beyond help. But Lucia wants the answer to the question nobody wants asked -- what drove the mild-mannered teacher to commit such a dreadful crime?

This is a real treat, a most unusual detective story told in an unusual manner by a first time author of unusual promise. Rupture lingers in the mind long after the last page is turned.

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