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NEW in Crime and Suspense:
P. D. James with a new Dalgliesh crime novel: The Lighthouse
John le Carré The Mission Song
Ruth Rendell: End in Tears
Ian Rankin: The Naming Of The Dead
Robert Goddard: Never Go Back
John Grisham: The Innocent Man

[13.09.06] Recoil - a new Andy McNab book - to be released on November 6th.

[02.01.06] Aggressor - a new Andy McNab book - was released on November 1st.

[09.02.05] Blackout is a new book by Chris Ryan, schedueled to be released on September 1st.

[05.02.05] Boy soldier 1 - a new Andy McNab book - is schedueled to be released on May 5th. This is the first in a new series of books.

Andy McNab

Andy McNab (pseudonym) is an interesting new author of action thrillers, books based on his own experiences as a soldier in the famous SAS Regiment.

McNab fought in the Gulf War, and was caught by the Iraqis and underwent hard interrogation.

He later left the SAS, and has written a number of novels about Nick Stone, ex-SAS and now a deniable operator for the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service).

While not wholly believable, his books shows us the workings of an undercover operator, down to the gritty details of how you shit and pee when you can't leave your post, nor any tracks of your having been there.

He has written two autobiographical books:

The Nick Stone thrillers are:

  • Remote Control
  • Crisis Four
  • Firewall
  • Last Light
  • Liberation Day: Nick Stone is tricked or coerced into an operation against Al-Qaeda money laundering networks in Europe. With his team, he stakes out places where money are to be delivered, in order to find the money launderers. While McNab is good at describing action, his surveillance scenes are filled to the brim and beyond with detail, making them too long-winded. His characters are quite shallow, but his action is good making this, all in all a readworthy thriller.
  • Dark Winter: Nick and a female operator has to find Bin Laden-associated terrorists and stop them from committing large-scale biological warfare operations in central London, against an unsuspecing civilian population. There is a lot of fast-paced action here, and less of the painstaikingly (boringly) described surveillance scenes. A side story is Nick's constant problems with taking care of Kelly, having to bully her grandparents in order to be able to serve both Kelly and his own unscrupolous master. While the action is up to class, I am a bit disappointed that McNab does little to exploit the dangers of the biological agent in order to build up the tension in this novel. The havoc that would have become the result of such a terrorist attack is underplayed, instead of being an overshadowing consideration. And I am also a bit surprised that McNab lets Nick botch up things to the extent he does here, with such devastating consequences. The ending is very sad, but not gripping - McNab has never built up any character but Nick, so I can't say I feel I've gotten to know anyone but him - hence no sadness for others. All in all: better than Liberation day but not an outstanding thriller.
  • Deep Black The story starts with a preamble: Unable to act, Nick in 1994 has to witness cold-blooded killings of Bosnian moslems by Serbs.
    When Jerry, a photographer, in 2004 contacts Nick in order to get help with tracking down a moslem leader they both saw in Bosnia, Nick agrees to come with him. They go to an occupied Baghdad, but end up being thrown out by the Americans. The then continue to Bosnia, where they eventually come into contact with the man they are searching for. In the end, it turns out Nick has been double-crossed, and much is quite different from what it has seemed.
    While there is a lot of well-written action here, and the 1994 episode is both gripping and well-told, I had problems following or finding an over-all line in the story. There is, of course, a plot here, but I find it unconvincing so I am a bit disappointed over this book.
  • Aggressor

The Boy Soldier books are:

Bravo Two Zero also was adapted for TV

Further reading or seeing about the SAS regiment:

Another of the soldiers of Bravo Two Zero has written his account of what happened, and a number of thrillers, under the name of Chris Ryan. His book about Bravo Two Zero is called The One That Got Away

The Real Bravo Two Zero by Michael Asher (also ex-SAS) represents yet another account of the events. Asher retraced the route and events of Bravo Two Zero ten years later, and tells a slightly different story from McNab and Ryan.

[30.04.03]A must for the reader of modern crime novels, The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Modern Crime Fiction gives a encyclopedic view of post-war crime fiction. For non-English readers it is a drawback that very little non-English material is included, but it is a great fountain of facts about English language authors. Its scope is strictly crime, leaving thrillers out - it still fills 780 pages, so you'll have more than enough to read.
More Mammoth Encyclopedias or Mammoth Books of a surprisingly wide range of subjects - Erotic photography, Shaggy Dog stories, Murder and Science and so on....

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