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Crossfire by Andy McNab
== Plot ==
This is the tenth book in the Nick Stone series. Nick Stone is an ex-SAS soldier who used to work for the security services in the earlier novels in this series. In this, he is working for a TV station at the start, as a bodyguard but does his own thing later on.
At the start of the novel, Nick recounts an event in Afghanistan during 1986. He was training the mujahedeen while he was in the SAS. While passing through a village, he finds a young girl who had burnt herself by pouring kerosene over herself. There is no hospital or medical assistance nearby. No one else seems to care as she lies dying. He sits by her, trying to make her feel as if someone is with her at the end.
Then it moves to 2007 and Basra, Iraq. Nick is now body guarding two TV crew who are embedded with British troops on the frontline. He is working for a small TV station. The TV reporters are called Dom and Pete. Dom is a Polish TV reporter and Pete is a cameraman. Pete ends up saving Nick's life during a fire fight with some insurgents but a few hours later, Pete is dead and Dom has disappeared. Nick has to find out what happened to Pete but to do that he must find Dom first . . .
== My thoughts ==
I found it callas the way the Afghans treat the girl that burns herself. They ignore her as if she isn't there and frown at Nick's attempt to help her. I liked the sections describing when he was in a warzone in Iraq, right at the start of the novel. He managed to express the chaos and fear all around him as soldiers engaged the enemy.
He mentions poop in this novel, his favourite topic as he fights with some insurgent and ends up rolling about in some sewage.
The rest of the novel was better than most of his earlier novels. He travels around to a few different countries, for a change including Iraq, Afghanistan, Ireland and the UK. That helped to keep the story interesting and to keep it moving along at a steady pace. There were several twists and turns along the way. I didn't find the detail boring in this like I usually do in his other novels. I liked reading about Afghanistan and how things work over there. There was a funny bit when he walks into a bar and finds some drunk monkeys dressed up as soldiers wearing toy AK47s. I found the ending was satisfying.
I didn't like the way the author introduces a young girl into the story, (Pete's daughter). It is there just to show that Nick has some emotions. You are supposed to think of his daughter Kelly who died in an earlier novel but I thought it was a distraction from the main story.
Action wise, this has more than his earlier novels and there is the constant threat of violence when Nick is wandering around Afghanistan. I'd say he kills about 11 or 12 people by the end.
== Audio narration ==
This was narrated by Paul Thornley and was unabridged. His voice seems too young to be Nick Stone's but he does an average job.
It is approximately 11 hours and 15 mins in length and is on 10 CDs.
== Summary and recommendation ==
I have given this 4 stars. This is one of the better books in the Nick Stone series. You could read this as a stand alone novel if you wanted too. The author manages to keep the story moving along at a good speed with enough action to keep my attention all the way through.