Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs here http://saylingaway.wordpress.com
Noelle has been reading Ryan Kaine: On The Defensive by Kerry J Donovan
This is the third in the Ryan Kaine series by Kerry Donovan, and it’s been interesting to see how the main character and his story evolve through the books. This one is quite a change from the first, which left me out of breath by the end, with its fast and furious pace, and the second, where the pace had slowed marginally but gathered steam as it went along.
On the Defensive opens in a small Greek bistro in London, where the owners, Justina Constantine and her husband Orestes, struggle to keep the business open. Justina’s father-in-law, Papa Onassis, had been killed when a missile exploded the plane he was on to Europe – a missile fired by Ryan Kaine, who didn’t know at the time he’d been set up to do this. The Constantines now owe thousands of pounds to the bank and business is way off because a developer has bought the block where the bistro is located and is systematically forcing the tenants to leave. This day Justina is visited by two men, who smash up the restaurant, rough her up and threaten to harm her daughters if her husband won’t sign papers selling their place to the developer. A terrifying opening and a great hook.
What bothered me about the book is what came next: a long, long digression to a villa in France. There Ryan Kaine lives with the veterinarian Lara, who is introduced in the first book when she rescues him from the people sent to kill him. She must now remain with him for her own safety. Filled with their badinage, the story drags while Kaine, who has promised to make restitution to the families affected by the deaths on the plane, is informed of the Constantines’ situation. His plan to help them, his interactions with Lara, and the arrangement for a backup for him in London occupy the next seven chapters and to me, the story dragged here.
Admittedly, the author needs to fill in information about Kaine, Lara, and the mechanism by which Kaine is told when and where he might be needed. There is also Kaine’s internal struggle not to fall in love with Lara – a struggle he is losing – because of the mortal danger their relationship brings. However, this long a digression from what I’ve come to expect – a fast-paced story – detracted from my enjoyment.
Once the story returns to London, the pace picks up and the reader becomes engrossed in how Kaine inserts himself into the Constantines’ lives, identifies and finds their tormentors, manages to wreak justice on the man at the top, and rescue the bistro and the family. This is pure Donovan.
As usual, the author’s descriptions of places are succinct but well-wrought and the villains are loathsomely three dimensional. All the characters are clear and identifiable, with quirks and foibles. There are the usual twists and turns along the way, leading to a satisfying ending, with more foreshadowed to come.
All in all, a good, fun read, but maybe not up to the level of the first and second books. Nevertheless, for Ryan Kaine fans, this latest adventure will please.
A simple act of vandalism. A victimised family. One man will protect them.
When Ryan Kaine, former Royal Marine and current fugitive, learns of the Constantine family’s problems, he leaves his coastal hideaway and rushes to their aid. The only problem is, he is the most wanted man in the UK and his face is on every billboard and news bulletin.
Choosing his vow of protection for The 83, the eighty-three families of the people he killed on Flight BE1555, over the pleas of his friends, Kaine risks his life and takes the first plane to London.
Fully recovered from his recent injuries and with a London safe house full of toys at his disposal, Kaine won’t stop until the Constantines are safe.
Can Kaine find out why the family are under attack, neutralise the threat, and make it out of London without being recognised?
Internationally bestselling fiction author, Kerry was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in the heart of rural Brittany with his wonderful and patient wife, Jan. They have three children and four grandchildren (so far), all of whom live in England. An absentee granddad, Kerry is hugely thankful for the advent of video calling.
The cottage is a pet free zone (apart from the field mice, moles, and red squirrels).
Kerry earned a first class honours degree in Human Biology, and has a PhD in Sport and Exercise Sciences. A former scientific advisor to The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, he helped UK emergency first-responders prepare for chemical attacks in the wake of 9/11. This background adds a scientific edge to his writing. He is also a former furniture designer/maker.