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Three junior Cabinet Ministers have made it their goal to create a new Police State within Britain and join all of the major law enforcement services together. In total opposition to the new plans is the head of the British SIS police force Tweed. Whilst trying to thwart the 3 Minister, Tweed and his assistant Paula Grey have been tasked with investigating the brutal murder of society beauty Viola Vander-Browne. Can Tweed stop the formation of this new organisation and prevent another murder?
I've read quite a few of Colin Forbes previous novels and so I thought I knew what to expect from Blood Storm. In my experience I'd found his books had held my attention and entertained, even if the plot was a little obvious. This time though I found myself finishing the last of the 381 pages and thinking thank god for that. There was something that felt very rushed and almost matter of fact about Blood Storm that just didn't work for me. I'd always thought of Forbes having a certain level of quality and this one slips well below where I thought it would be.
As with the majority of Forbes books this does have a very straight forward plot but I thought his story telling didn't really work. The book opens with Tweed having dinner with Viola and someone trying to frame him for the murder. At first it seemed like a good opening but after about 100 pages it seemed to have been forgotten. He went from being the lead suspect to the lead investigator in the blink of an eye.
The book from then on just seemed to lose any interest and intensity that it could have had. I felt the basis of the story could have worked but Forbes seemed to take it down such a ridiculous route with some of his attempted plot twists that I almost gave up on the book half way through. Instead I persisted, if only to find out if it got any better. Unfortunately for me it didn't and between Tweed's SIS and the Cabinet Ministers State Police it just seemed to consist of one group trying to kill the other then vice versa.
In fact even the ending was a complete disappointment. After almost 370 pages of story the case seemed to be wrapped up in about 5 pages, almost as if Forbes had decided that was enough pages and he just decided to finish it. There still seemed to be a number of loose ends and I just felt massively disappointed, especially after such a strong start.
If you've read Forbes books before you'll be familiar with his lead characters Tweed, Paula and the rest of the team, but if you haven't then this isn't the book to start with. There is very little refresher let alone introduction to Tweed and his team and having not read one of Forbes books for a couple of years I struggled at first to remember who they were and what they did. Again this seems in complete contrast to his previous work I've read as they all had particularly good characterisation.
Overall having not read one of his books for a while I was hugely disappointed. I'd had this book on my bookshelf for a while and now I almost wish I'd left it on the shelf in the shop! Part of me wonders if my change of heart towards Forbes is due to my far diluted pool of authors than the ties I'd read his work previously. This is a very poor book that had a lot of potential but just really didn't work. I wish I could recommend it for the beginning but even that isn't worth buying this for. I now feel I have to try another of Forbes more recent work to see if this is a one off or if my original judgement was very wrong.
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ISBN - 978-0743263627