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Iraq presents rich pickings for the likes of Nick Stone; the ex SAS soldier is forging a lucrative career in the close protection field, babysitting Western bigwigs with money to burn, providing protection they hope will prevent them from being kidnapped, tortured and becoming the latest beheading on the Al Jazeera website. It seems however that his latest close protection job would be anything but straight forward. Tasked with guarding a duo of award winning Polish documentary makers, Stone finds himself in the midst of a frantic firefight between the Taliban and allied forces. Getting separated from the group is bad enough with bullets flying in all directions, but worse is to follow as Nick is snatched, his would be kidnappers hoping the British Government or his employers give enough of a damn to pay a ransom to save his life. All seems lost as Nick is dragged from the scene, until help arrives in the unlikely form of some very well placed kicks and bullets from the cameraman he is meant to be protecting.
There seemed little doubt in Nick's mind that he owed his life to Pete, the handsome cameraman who had saved him from a fate worse than death. Sadly he had little time to impart his gratitude, for while Nick was recovering from his close shave Pete was killed in mysterious circumstances outside their fortified and protected building. Nick vowed to seek justice for the man he was meant to be protecting and set about finding out what had caused the documentary makers to leave the protected area unsupervised. Worse was to come though, as the second half of the Documentary team ? Dom - had disappeared immediately after Pete?s death. What follows is a trail of drug marketing, people smuggling and conspiracy from within as Nick?s quest for justice takes him from the dusty streets of Basra, to London, Dublin and eventually the Afghanistan capital, Kabul.
I have long been a fan of Andy McNab; from his nonfiction accounts of war-torn Iraq in Bravo Two Zero and his life as a soldier in Immediate Action, to his fictional series of books featuring ex SAS soldier Nick Stone; he really knows how to grip the reader and draw them in. His descriptive storytelling gives an accurate feel for the scenarios and problems encountered in the face of battle. In Crossfire ? as in his other fictional books ? his knowledge of the subject is strong. Many military writers leave me wondering if their sole experience of anything remotely resembling a warzone is watching Dads Army on the BBC. With McNab though I have no such misgivings; you get the feeling he knows about the weaponry and battle situations he writes about because he has been in the thick of such situations himself, and fired most of the weapons described in anger. Another facet of Crossfire that really appeals is that I found myself warming to the Nick Stone Character, as well as those that help him on his quest for justice. I really wanted good to triumph over evil as I turned the pages. On the flip side the baddies truly are a sadistic collection of miscreants who I yearned for terror and trauma to befall. This empathy/apathy balance is a rare find in modern fiction, and yet McNab manages to bestride the line well thanks to incisive and informative background descriptions of the lead players.
The language used in Crossfire takes no prisoners, if you dislike swearing this is definitely not the book for you. It is also immensely graphic; with vivid descriptions of war and torture techniques that had me shifting uncomfortably in my seat more than once. This is heart of the battle stuff in every sense of the word; brutal, informative, scary and worrying in equal measure. McNab knows how to keep the story moving while putting plenty of meat on the bones; the ?I will just read another chapter before bed? factor is strong here, I found myself reading on long after I originally thought I would just to see what would happen next. The book is broken up into chapters of five or so pages; these punchy short chapter sizes are something I enjoy in James Patterson books and feel it works well in this book too. Not a word wasted in delivering an exciting and enthralling book. If you are looking for fast paced action, good writing and an original story, Crossfire is for you. Four hundred plus pages of engaging and tantalizing narrative, I recommend it with four stars out of five
Bravo Two Zero was the first war book I ever read and I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed Andy McNab's way of writing, and was amazed by the events that unfolded. Following reading that, I have since read nearly all of his books, the only exceptions being his Boy Soldier series.
Crossfire is the latest in his series of books centred around the Character Nick Stone, a former soldier in the SAS turned free lancer turned deniable opertive (or k) as they are apparently known. Over the course of the previous books in the series (which I shall review as I get time) we have followed Nick through various missions and situations which he has some how managed to get through, despite at times having to over come numerous set backs.
This book starts with Nick Stone working alongside a new crew in Basra, Iraq, he is protecting them and keeping them clear of danger as they are embedded with an operational army unit fighting the war against the insurgent forces. During one manouveer, whilst protecting the reporter and camera man, Nick get shot and goes down. With the insurgents very keen on kidnapping or killing westerners, especially those involved in the media, it looks like Nick is in trouble as an insurgent seems intent on killing him. To his rescue comes the camera man who he is
supposed to be protecting.
Whilst recovering in the hospital, and heavily dosed up on pain killers, The reporter visits Nick and is clearly in quite a state, He leaves Nick with the cryptic message, "I didn't do it, it wasn't me"
When Nick has recovered enough to leave the hospital unit, he finds out that the camera man who saved him has been killed and the reporter has disappeared.
Upon his return to Britain, Nick is called in by the head of the government agency he has worked for in the past. He is told that the reporter has been kidnapped and his wife is being asked for money. He is told that the reporter is important and must be rescued. Nick must find him and rescue him before his captors kill him. This is a race against time.
As with the other Nick Stone books, McNab's writing is in the first person, as though he is recounting the story as it happened to him. His knowledge of modern day soldiering, weapons, tactics etc etc come through in the writing and little details about the things Nick Stone is doing really fill the story with great realism and atmosphere, you can feel the tension, the methodical planning of the character, the fear, the confidence of a well trained soldier.
As ever his research and descriptions of the locations and nature of the situations is wonderful and with every page you feel more and more like you are there alongside Nick Stone, holding your breath when he does, wishing him luck and hoping that everything goes to plan.
Again the storyline of this book twists and turns in such a way that you really are unsure as to what will happen next, when the action kicks off it grips you and compels you to keep turning the pages.I generally read just before I go to sleep and when I got near to the end of this book, I just couldn't put it down, I ended up having a very late night as I had to finish it, it was much to exciting to put down!
I have tried reading other simialr types of book but I have yet to find anyone else who writes in quite the same way and who is able to tell the story as well as McNab does. I am a huge fan of his work and always keep an eye out for the next Nick Stone book.
If you are a fan of action thrillers, I would heartily recommend this book, it's a great read, though I would advise you to start at the beginning of the Nick Stone series so you can work your way through the different stories as the character really has developed a long way since the first book and as you read through more of them you really begin to feel for the character and become attached in such a way that the books become even more griping as you really want him to survive.
Released late 2007 this is yet another addition to the fantastic fictional books written by Andy McNab and in my opinion the best yet and realy worth a read
The plot to this book is that wholst protecting a tv filming crew in Basra Nick Stone seems certain to loose his life when they are attacked by insurgent gunmen and it is only the quick thinking and quick actions of the reporter that saves his life but hours later the reporter disapears assumed kidnapped and nick stone is asked to find him.
This task is by no means easy and takes him on a long trail through many countrys. Iraq, London, Dublin and Kabul but for stone the nightmare is only just about to begin.
The introduction in this book is very slow moving but once past this the pace moves at a good rate not too quickly so that you will struggle to folow but fast enough to keep the adrenalin flowing, the auther manages to combine the dark nastyness of the world we live in today with whitt and humor producing a fantastic read, the plot is realy relevent to todays society and wholst the book is fiction it touches greatly on reality of the world we now live in, the detail in this book is amazing and makes you feel like you are actually there in the middle of all the action.
This is a fantastic read for anyone who enjoys this sort of book.
McNab's fictional alter-ego, deniable operator Nick Stone returns for another high paced outing in Crossfire. Starting in Iraq and continuing through Afghanistan and finally Ireland, the tension is maintained all the way through this book.
McNab compromises nothing as he relates this gripping thriller through Stone. I've never really been a fan of first person narrative, but I've been unable to put down any of this series.
When Nick Stone is saved from certain death in Iraq by the news crew he is employed to protect, the story unfolds as the reporter goes missing without trace. Stone goes on to find that the reporter has attracted interest at the highest level and his disappearance has left some of them more than a little worried.
Stone must rescue the reporter for reasons initially unclear to him, as the plot twists and turns through the streets of Kabul. Surprises closer to home add to the drama and suspense as Stone uncovers more secrets and tries to stay one step ahead of the enemies in his own camp.
As common purpose is found with enemies from the past, an uneasy alliance of sorts is used to finally dispose of the protagonists with the kind of gruesome realism you can expect from McNab.
McNab is one of the best thriller writers around today, so put down the Da Vinci Code and get your reading gear round a great "grown up" book!