Thursday, 31 July 2014


Please note: This review does contain spoilers of the plot.

The new Brooke Kinley adventure by AS Bond is a rip roaring page turner which is a thriller in the mode of a B movie picture with A class ideals and intrigue. Remember the film Eagle Eye which had a great cast yet got seemingly lost in the shuffle and you forgot about it until I just mentioned it again, starting Shia Lebeouf, Michelle Monaghan and Michael Chilikis.  That film focused on an elaborate assassination attempt using people who became mere pawns in the hands of someone else's larger plans.

In this post 9/11 world, Patriot makes us realise that America's greatest threat may come within as it uses the trope of a non-nuclear bomb with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) as the trigger, similar to the pinch in the 2001 version of Oceans Eleven.  The plan by the terrorists is to send America back to the dark ages, and have the contracts to rebuild the nation.

What begins as a journalistic investigation by our protagonist Brooke, soon descends into a paranoid thriller in the vein of the 1970s The Parallex View and Days of the Condor.  Kinley finds herself in the wilderness of Canada where she encounters pilot Dex who himself is looking for a missing brother.  Their crossed paths means they must help each other to their eventual outcome.

Helping Brooke out along through all this is Department of Defence employee, Scott Jensen, who in some respects is the better protagonist considering he is the more active out of him and Brooke, and he fact that Brooke is unconscious for a good few chapters.

Scott is reminiscent of Jack Reacher, whilst smaller in stature, he is however a man who thinks on his feet and chivalrous to the end.  Scott attempts that which anyone would do in any of he situations encounters. Scott's patriotism and conduct becoming of a white knight is telling when you realise that AS Byatt is a female, her ideal of a man is clear.

Whilst this reader found Scott a more engaging character, it is still Brooke who has the curtain call with a crowning moment of journalistic triumph.

Byatt writes with a briskness and ease which makes the book so winning, although I found the inevitable coupling of Brooke and Dex a little underwhelming, not to say the writer cannot write romance, the action and intrigue were far more convincing.

However, Patriot, should still garner your attention and the pay off is both entertaining and satisfying if you stick with it.

Patriot is out now on Amazon kindle for £1.79 and is published by Castle Books.

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