Zero Hour by Andy McNab
== Plot synopsis ==
This is the thirteenth novel in the Nick Stone series. Nick Stone is an ex SAS soldier who sometimes works for the intelligence services doing jobs no one else wants to do.
The story starts off like always with a mission he's done in his past. This time it's 2007 and he's in Syria helping destroy a nuclear plant.
Back in the present, it's 2010, and his health isn't good. He has a brain tumour and has been given a few months to live. He agrees to do one last mission for British Intelligence. He is told to find the missing 20 year old daughter of a powerful industrialist in Moldova.
== My thoughts ==
You may like this if you read it as a stand alone novel, but if you've read his previous novels then there's nothing new in this. The author never changes the first person narrative style in any of the novels in the Nick Stone series, which by now I find boring. The plot is similar in many ways to his previous novels and even the characters; though they may have different names are the same. An example is his boss, Charles Tresillian. He reminded me of the way George acted. He used to be Nick's boss in some of the earlier novels.
There is some mention of trafficking of women for sex which was interesting to read about. However, because the author always writes in the first person, and never in the third, you never get to see the pain the girls are going through from their point of view. I have read all of the books in this series so far, and by now, I have gotten used to the way Nick talks and the language he uses. I would like the author to write a novel in the third person, which would help by making him use different language to describe situations, and it would also mean you could get a better picture of what was going on around the main character, Nick.
Another thing that bugged me was the structure of the book. It is the same as all his previous novels in this series. He starts off recounting a mission at the start of the book which he has done in the past, before switching to the present. You know that the mission at the start will be linked in some way to the main story. I managed to make a guess early on, and you know there will be a few twists thrown in at the end. I worked out one of the main ones before that point and the ones I didn't figure out weren't surprising.
I thought Nick found the missing girl, Lillian through luck rather than any skills he may have. The author does try to make the plot current when it comes to what's going on in the news and current affairs. I found it predictable though.
This time we get Nick giving us a travel tour of Moldova, Demmark and Amsterdam. We get Nick telling us fact after fact about each country he's in and details about what's around him as he tries to find the girl and carries out cirvalence.
== Audio narration ==
This was unabridged and read by Paul Thornley. He sounds too young to be the voice for Nick Stone, but he voices the rest of the characters fine. He is a trained actor.
This is 11 hours and 30 mins in length and is on 10 CDs.
== Summary and recommendation ==
I have given this 2 stars. It is a book I couldn't really get into. There are too many similarities to the previous books in this series to allow me to enjoy this. You may like it if you read it stand alone. There is no mention of characters from previous novels, apart from Julian and ANNA his girlfriend, who make appearances, which makes it easy to pick up and read for a first time reader to this series.