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Bloody Passage - Jack Higgins (Audio CD)

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Genre: Mystery / Author: Jack Higgins / Narrator: Christopher Lane

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      01.12.2011 17:10
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      A run of the mill thriller novel

      Bloody Passage Aka: The Run to Morning by Jack Higgins


      Jack Higgins is a pen name of Harry Patterson who has also written under the names of Martin Fallon, James Graham, Hugh Marlowe and his own name.
      His most famous novel is 'The Eagle Has Landed' and probably the Sean Dillon series of novels.


      == Plot synopsis ==
      This is written in the first person. You hear the protagonist, Oliver Grant narrate the story to us. He is a happy go lucky kind of a guy who doesn't take anything too seriously, even when someone is trying to shoot him right at the start.
      The narrator is Christopher Lane. He has an American accent and I felt I could imagine the main character having that kind of voice. I found his voice quite soothing and easy to listen to. He was able to change his accent slightly to do an English or French accent when he needed too, when voicing the other characters.


      This was originally written in 1974 and this audio book version has been published in 2011. It was unabridged and is 6 hours and 27 mins in length.


      Oliver Grant used to be a soldier and then a Major in US Military Intelligence. He has a knack of being able to extricate people out of prison and hostile countries. He has been working as a mercenary for the past few years, selling his services to the highest bidder.
      A millionaire Mafia boss wants him to break his stepson out of a Libyan prison which is basically a fortress. Grant is now retired and he refuses. However, his blind sister is kidnapped and he ends up being blackmailed into helping . . .


      == My thoughts ==
      I like novels to be set in exotic places and when it comes to that it doesn't disappoint. It starts off in Spain then moves to Italy and Libya.
      The start of the novel is promising as it starts off with some action, as Grant tries to avoid being shot by a sniper. I liked the way the story starts off, running at a good clip. I also liked the twists and turns that are thrown at you in the very early stages. Though as the novel progresses, I lost interest as it loses steam and plods along at a sedate pace.


      You find out the story and background to the main character while events unfold around him which I liked. I don't like to read a long introduction at the start giving you all the background. This dips you into the action from the get go. I would say this is mostly predictable in the way it is written. It is basically a rescue mission, so you see Grant getting together his crew then going to Libya to rescue the stepson etc.
      I did like the way the author makes you guess as to the intentions of the different characters and whether they are good or bad. This is especially true when it comes to Grant's 'girlfriend'.
      The other thing I liked when it came to characterisation, was the fact that the author doesn't paint all the bad guys as completely evil. There is at least one of the Libyans, that has a chivalrous side. I like it when the bad guys have their own set of codes and honour.


      == Price and availability ==
      This is available from Amazon for £17.14 with free delivery, though you may be able to pick it up cheaper used on there. It may also be worth checking your local library.


      == Summary and recommendation ==
      I give this 2 stars. This is strictly average. If you like this kind of novel then you may want to pick it up and have a read, if you have nothing better to do, but I don't think you should go out of your way to look for it. I'd say this was better than earlier novels of Higgins I've reviewed on here such as, 'The Thousand Faces of Night' or 'Comes The Dark Stranger', but it is no classic.
      There is nothing here to make it stand out from Higgin's other novels like 'The Eagle Has Landed' or novels by other authors that fall into the same category i.e. a group of diverse people are thrown together to go on a suicidal / impossible mission.

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