Friday, 22 March 2019

Orphan X - Gregg Hurwitz, 2016

I had a fantastic workout routine today with one of my very best friends, however, I must admit that his fitness condition is way superior than mine and, somehow, he has become one of my role models. That made me think about all situations in life when on occasions we find ourselves in a context where our knowledge or skills are better than the ones around us, some other times, our position may not be as favourable. And surely, we have had come across a number of scenarios where we find our match, either for a cooperative or competitive situation.

After leaving the secret program where he was trained to be a survival and a killing machine, Evan decided to keep his life in seclusion, surrounded by the most sophisticated security possible and taking care of leaving no trace of his presence anywhere. A man that does not exist. But it is not like he became a monk or the hermit on the hill. He became a paladin to help those in desperate need, those defenceless in critical and unfair situations.

Subject to a strict set of rules, Evan can be contacted by anyone in a such unwanted situations through a phone number that will be given by another person already helped. 
One case at a time and with all possible precautions. Yeah, it all sounds good: Evan, you’ve got the job of your dreams and the purpose of your life, haven’t you? 
On very single case, he has faced, so far, dirty guys that were no match for his skills and they wished, if alive, not having crossed his way ever. But one good day somebody will be good enough, with the correct background, with the adequate resources and the strong will to balance – or overturn – the equation.

Evan, the Orphan X, will see each of his operational rules broken and deal with the consequences of that. A desperate Latin woman, her neighbour, the daughter of an addicted gambler, an illegal immigrant. Who’s with him and who’s against? That’s for the reader to find out in a page turner novel that I strongly suggest to start right before your days off work. 
Martial arts, psychologic games, weaponry and much more is given with no reserves on this book and, if you were looking for that story that will make you feel miserable after finish it and will make you ask for more, ‘Orphan X’ is the right choice.

Very recommendable.

ISBN: 9781405910705

Thursday, 21 March 2019

The Chalk Man - C. J. Tudor, 2018

Every novel has a story behind. Why did we choose that particular book amongst all the rest of novel when we visit our local bookstore? Sometimes could be because we have read a review in Internet or the newspaper (yeah, still there are adults to do that), or maybe because a friend told us about it, perhaps somebody at our local bookstore recommend it, and sometimes is because we spot the book and the novel starts calling our name. 

Now let me tell you what happened to me and C. J. Tudor’s ‘The Chalk Man’. Not a long time ago, two of my mates and me decided to go on a three days breakaway to Edinburgh, a train trip, a little bit more than 2 hours. I didn’t have anything to read in the trip so I rushed to my local Waterstones to see what could I take to the Highlands. When I arrived I started snooping around but nothing caught my eye until I see a black book with a chalk man drawing. I thought ‘uhmmm, this is interesting’, then after checking the storyline I was totally on board. This big boy was coming to Scotland with us. 

When you start reading this novel, the main genre is the typical killing in the middle of nowhere in England, which is appealing for itself. To be honest, I’m a little bit tired that all the time, all the books are based in the same area on LA or Arkansas. I want novels that I can relate and this is one. Then the story flash backed you to the past and some bullying. Then adds some supernatural or shady elements, wow, I’m hooked then add so many twists that my neck is almost broken. The finish product? The Chalk Man.

In that trip, which was amazing by the way, I only could read on the train and at night. I finished it before I get back home. The action is thrilling, you won’t leave the book alone until you finished it. 

When the likes of Lee Child, Stephen King or John Boyne recommend this book is for a good reason.

We can only follow suit and recommend the reading of ‘The Chalk Man’, you won’t regret it and as well, you will think twice to walk alone in the park again...

ISBN - 9781405930956

Penguin books

The Fox - Frederick Forsyth, 2018

Many battles have been won by outnumbering the opponents, by using new weaponry, using geographic advantages – even weather ones – but many will agree with me that likely the most valuable element for a victory is: the surprise.
Recently, whilst working on my own writing, I’ve been researching widely on the Nazi invasion of Crete, during the WWII. To the day, many historians, war specialist and aficionados debate about the merits from the German army and the right or wrongdoings of the Allies in the island. However, nobody will ever argue that one decisive factor for the victory was, precisely, the surprising element of the airborne invasion. The first in the history of warfare.
But those were other times with other technology and resources. Today, war is a completely different concept where, whilst the human resources remain as the main source, high-end technology, informatics, ultra-advanced espionage and telecommunications have become the critical support for operations at any scale.
Having said this, let’s imagine a scenario where your most powerful weapon would not be a nuclear warhead, a biochemical agent or a state-of-the-art air fighter; what if the most effective ever resource would be the brilliant mind of an individual who, by the way, would never want to harm anyone?
Frederick Forsyth returns to tell us a story where he won’t skimp on details about the black ops, the espionage networks, the political decisions taken behind doors, the diplomatic relations and the individual stories of all the characters involved. Could a government be able to sabotage operations and premises around the world without even put a foot on those targeted territories? How to cover any trace? What would it take to protect your secret weapon?
If you are a follower, big fan or just discovered Frederick Forsyth, probably by reading The Afghan, Cobra or The Odessa File –just to mention some of Forsyth’s master pieces -; don’t dare to miss ‘The Fox’. A novel with a plot developed in current times and with lots of accurate descriptions of international conflicts and events that – frame my words – will make you see the world with different eyes on every turn of page.
I am unable to describe further about the plot without giving up details that are reserved for the avid reader. But I won’t stop myself from telling everyone that ‘The Fox’ has reached a place among the top five of my books where Forsyth already holds the first place as well.
For all those readers who enjoy with military operations, international politics, even for those Conspiracy Theorists, this book will not disappoint you and, if by fluke this novel is your first encounter with Frederick Forsyth, well… I promise there’s not point of return.

A must-read
ISBN: 9780593080580