Savage Payback by Seumus Gallacher #Crime #Thriller 3rd Jack Calder book


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Savage Payback is a crime thriller and the third book in the Jack Calder ex-SAS series who now run ISP (International Security Partners) The book opens with a brutal jewellery heist on London’s New Bond Street, when a well planned hit stole gems from 12 stores. As 3 of those stores were clients of Jack’s business he makes it his top priority to get involved with catching the thieves.

There follows a globe-trotting story of revenge and counter revenge as Jack and his team follow the trails leading to past adversaries and major dealers in drugs and crime across the world. There is a large cast of characters thrown at the reader early in the book and although the pace of the book isn’t hampered by large amounts of back story it was hard to decide which characters were major players and which could fade into the background.

The opening scenes were great, but then my attention was lost with all the planning, decisions and meetings, I felt the large amounts of dialogue told the reader the story rather than showing us with interestingly paced passages of writing, so rather than be drawn into the book I watched from behind a window.

The action picked up around half way through when each side took it’s share of attack and counter attacks, but by then I had lost my initial engagement with the storyline. I needed more emotions, it is an action book and men don’t “Do emotions” but it would help add a depth to the book and lift this to a popular series it has the potential to be.

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Rosie’s Avid Readers #RBRT Three Stations by Martin Cruz Smith

Rosie's Avid Readers

Rosie’s Avid readers are people who like reading and have a book to tell us about, they are the voice of a friend who says ” I just read this book….”


Avid Reader’s thoughts

Set in Moscow this is a tale surrounding some of the down and outs of the city. Drugs, murder, bribery and corruption written in a staccato style that emphasises the conditions and lives of the people involved as Arkady Renko investigates his next case.

Book Description.

A passenger train hurting through the night. An unwed teenage mother headed to Moscow to seek a new life. A cruel-hearted soldier looking furtively, forcibly, for sex. An infant disappearing without a trace.

So begins Martin Cruz Smith’s masterful Three Stations, a suspenseful, intricately constructed novel featuring Investigator Arkady Renko. For the last three decades, beginning with the trailblazing Gorky Park, Renko (and Smith) have captivated readers with detective tales set in Russia. Renko is the ironic, brilliantly observant cop who finds solutions to heinous crimes when other lawmen refuse to even acknowledge that crimes have occurred. He uses his biting humour and intuitive leaps to fight not only wrongdoers but the corrupt state apparatus as well.

In Three Stations, Renko’s skills are put to their most severe test. Though he has been technically suspended from the prosecutor’s office for once again turning up unpleasant truths, he strives to solve a last case: the death of an elegant young woman whose body is found in a construction trailer on the perimeter of Moscow’s main rail hub. It looks like a simple drug overdose to everyone — except to Renko, whose examination of the crime scene turns up some inexplicable clues, most notably an invitation to Russia’s premier charity ball, the billionaires’ Nijinksy Fair. Thus a sordid death becomes interwoven with the lifestyles of Moscow’s rich and famous, many of whom are clinging to their cash in the face of Putin’s crackdown on the very oligarchs who placed him in power.

Renko uncovers a web of death, money, madness and a kidnapping that threatens the woman he is coming to love and the lives of children he is desperate to protect. In Three Stations, Smith produces a complex and haunting vision of an emergent Russia’s secret underclass of street urchins, greedy thugs and a bureaucracy still paralyzed by power and fear.

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