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Not only is this the best Simon Kernick book i have read, but this is the Best book i've read, period.
I first discovered Simon Kernicks works by accident, picking one of his books (i forget which, as i've read them all) up in desperstion in the Airport as my plane was bording. And the rest is history, i've been hooked ever since. Now, i've always been a crime story fan, i have all the sherlock holmes books and films, black and white included, i've seen all the Prime Suspect Series', the list goes on and on. The thing i love about Simon Kernicks Work is the gritty realism of the violence, the violent people and the down right ugliness of the situations these people get themselves into. The Stories are beyond amazing and the characters are some of the best i've come across.
The thing that Makes The Last Ten Seconds the best is all off the above reasons times by ten. Its just unbelievabley brilliant. Tough Guys, Sexy Girls, Tough Girls And Evil Guys mixed in with two interwined seemingly unrelated, but equaly brutal situations, guns, drugs, cops and robbers !! Words cannot describe the pure adrenalin rush i recieved just through turning the bloody pages !!!
Im trying to make my point without giving anything away because i want you to experience it the way i did, clueless. Some of the Characters appear in his other works but the stories, between the books arent related so it doesn't matter if you've never read anything buy him before!
If you have, you already know what im talking about, just buy the book !!!!
A brutal serial killer dubbed the 'Night Creeper' is finally arrested on the streets of North London after torturing and then killing five women during his two year reign of terror. DI Tina Boyd and the team responsible for his capture should be celebrating, and they are. However, Tina has a nagging doubt that won't go away. Is Andrew Kent, the man they have captured, really the Night Creeper?
As Tina delves further, she discovers that the Night Creeper's murders are part of a much larger criminal conspiracy and her quest to uncover the truth puts her in extreme danger, as she discovers there are some people out there who want her silenced - permanently.
Meanwhile Sean Egan, an undercover cop, has infiltrated one of the UK's most notorious criminal gangs and is determined to bring its members to justice, even if it means risking his life.
Sean has a personal score to settle and Tina has a few issues and uncertainties herself. The only thing that is certain is that they are both going to have a fight on their hands, just to stay alive.
The start of the book introduces us to a very bloody and battered Sean Egan; seriously wounded after being shot, he is slouched on the floor in an old disused building surrounded by dead bodies. DI Tina Boyd enters the room just as Sean is believing he is about to die, but then more shots are fired.
We are then taken back to 37 hours earlier and find DI Tina Boyd and her squad about to apprehend a serial killer - the' Night Creeper'.
What follows is a rollercoaster of a read which follows two different characters, Tina and Sean, featuring in alternate chapters as they battle their way through extreme danger to uncover the truth in what starts out as two different storylines, but which later ultimately ties them together.
If you are familiar, as I am, with Simon Kernick's work, then you will undoubtedly know that you are in for fast-paced relentless action when you pick up one of his books and once again he does not disappoint.
DI Tina Boyd has featured in other novels of Kernick's but the reader does not need to have read any of these to understand this book. Tina is a flawed detective, good at her job, but struggling with a drink problem which sees her finding it hard to complete a shift without having a drink. Some of her history is briefly explained, for those who may not have read the other books and it is understandable why she struggles. Her career is all she has and she is determined to keep it, as she has a score to settle.
Sean Egan on the other hand is still haunted by the murder of his brother 15 years earlier. A war hero, his brother was left wounded and facially disfigured by an attack whilst serving in the Gulf war. Out in London one day, he apprehends some robbers and pays the ultimate price with his life as he is shot by the robbers making their getaway. Before shooting him the killer calls him a 'freak'.
Sean remains desperate to hunt down his brother's murderer and bring him to justice.
The book flows really well with the character of Sean being described in the first person and the chapters featuring Tina in the third person. Both headstrong, flawed characters, each with their own agendas as well as doing their job, this is a breath of fresh air away from the usual good cops doing their jobs to bring criminals to justice, which can sometimes make for a less than exciting read.
Here though, the action is literally non-stop from start to finish with many chapters ending on a cliffhanger line which saw me quickly turning the page to find out what happens next. Indeed I am not ashamed to admit I was actually holding my breath on several occasions!
Kernick has excelled himself with this book. I have read and enjoyed some of his other novels but sometimes felt they were a little far-fetched in places. Here however, I think he has got the balance just right and although once again the entire story takes place over a couple of days, I didn't think the timescale was unbelievable.
What starts out as an interesting read anyway, quickly becomes something much deeper and complex with plenty of twists throughout as nothing goes smoothly. Indeed no sooner have they caught the notorious Night Creeper than he finds an alibi for one of the murders, is poisoned whilst being held in custody and then gets hijacked from the ambulance on the way to hospital and vanishes with his kidnappers.
This is just the first twist in this thrilling page-turner and they don't stop there. I had no idea how this book was going to end and several times when I began to think I knew what was going to happen next, something else would be thrown up to prove me wrong and so I was kept guessing right until the end.
Kernick's atmospheric prose in parts of the book really builds up the suspense and tension throughout. There is quite a lot of violence, as you would expect in a book such as this, but because of the characters it also offers a lot more and I found myself caring about what happens to them even when they display some unorthodox methods. It was particularly interesting to read how Sean copes when he finds himself actually liking one of the gang members. It is totally believable and Kernick describes Sean's emotions and feelings really well. This was one of the stand-out parts of the book for me.
If you like a good fast-paced crime thriller which offers plenty of action and twists and turns then I can recommend this book. It is no surprise either to see that my favourite author, Harlan Coben endorses this book on the cover with the words - "Simon Kernick writes with his foot pressed hard on the pedal. Hang on tight!" A very apt description of Kernick's work.
Uninspired by the 'cheap' books for download that Itunes had to offer, I recently decided to download Kindle and when I went on Amazon to do so I noticed that they were recommending some books for me. Deciding that most of them sounded pretty good, they were the ones I searched for on the Kindle store. I soon realised that I had read previous books by recommended Simon Kernick and really enjoyed them (Relentless & Deadline) so finally settled on The Last 10 Seconds. Costing £2.90 it's the authors cheapest book on Kindle, which also helped my decision!
The book begins towards the end of the main story, it's no spoiler to tell you that one of our main characters Sean Egan, an undercover police officer, is close to death, he tells us that there are bodies in the room and that there has been a gun fight leaving him bleeding out and growing weaker by the second. Then he hears footsteps, coming closer but he has no fight left and resigns himself to death. Luckily for him, it's detective Tina Boyd, how did she know to come here? She could save his life - and then the gunfire starts again.....
After being hooked by the cliffhanger ending (at the start!) the rest of the book takes us back to the beginning and the lead up to said events. The second chapter is quite gripping in it's own right, although told from Tinas perspective, taking part in the capture of a murder suspect 'The Nightcreeper' who has been attacking women in their homes, killing them with a hammer and raping them. But, there may be an inconsistency with one of the cases, Tina herself was responsible for finding the missing link which ties their suspect to the crimes. Could she be wrong? After interviewing the man they have just arrested as the 'nightstalker' he doesn't act like the many guilty murderers she has met before and her confidence begins to waver.
The book continues with both leading characters taking a turn to explain events in every other chapter, so we are kept abreast of the individual story lines. The author has written in different styles, in the first person with Sean Egan, as if he is telling us events himself and in the third person with Tina Boyd. Why, I'm not quite sure, it did make me feel that maybe Egans character was a little more important, although by the end of the book both were on pretty even footing. It didn't really detract from the story and both types of dialogue flowed well and were easy to read.
As in most thriller/crime books, both characters are flawed. They are hotheaded, loose canons who act without thinking first and are slightly selfish. Tina has a drink problem and a high profile history, which I expect is more adequately explained in previous Kernick novels which she also appears in. I haven't read these and didn't feel that I needed to to understand this one, it works well as a stand alone and her history is briefly explained. She's not much of a team player, her colleagues don't seem to like her much and she does little to try and change their opinion. Luckily her dedication and detective skills are top notch. Egan is looking for retribution and tired with being managed decides to take matters into his own hands. Things soon spiral out of control and he makes some terrible choices and gets himself into tricky situations that would blow his cover if he tried to get out of them, so he continues down a dark route, getting tied in deeper, will he ruin his career? At times it seemed to me that for such a seasoned policeman he had lost the plot a bit, but the story wouldn't have been half as interesting had he done everything by the book!
With Tina being a Detective working on the Nightstalker case and Egan being undercover infiltrating a couple of lowlife gangsters, it seems unlikely that their paths should cross, but of course they do! I'm not going to say any more, as I don't want to spoil it incase you decide to read it yourself.
What I like about Simon Kernicks style of writing is the fast pace, the edginess and the action. He likes to pack a few graphically violent punches, but not too many and likes to add in a couple of shocks, just to keep you on the edge of your seat. Many British authors tend to be a bit droll, settings becoming a bit grey and dismal. Kernick doesn't concentrate on overly describing places and events, but giving enough information to explain backgrounds clearly so the reader can build a picture without confusing or boring us to death. He likes to keep his stories running quickly with plenty of action and as he doesn't include any unnecessary information it's easy to follow and makes you read quickly to keep up!
Definitely recommended! I really enjoyed this book and found it so difficult to put down, it only took me two days to read, which is no mean feat with most of my time spent with my kids!
Kernick hits the nail on the head with this fast-paced and extremely clever book.
Sean Egan and DS Tina Boyd are the main characters, each with their own story, which builds up to a dramatic climax towards the end of the book. Sean is an undercover policeman, deeply involved in the gangland culture, and Boyd is on the trail of the Night Creeper, a brutal murderer who kills innocent females,and films himself doing so.
As aforementioned, Sean is deeply embroiled in London's gangland culture, and finds himself working for three men - Wolfe, Haddock and Tommy. It soon emerges that Seans brother was an innocent bystander killed many years ago by some gangland figures and Wolfe has been heard boasting about it, so Sean wants to take him down. You start the book believing he has been given the authority to do so, but you soon find out that this is not the case - Sean is putting his career on the line to avenge his brothers murder.
Meanwhile, Tina is on the trail of the Night Creeper, and believes towards the start of the book that she has found the man responsible. However, there are many twists and turns and you begin to doubt the guilt of the man who they believe committed the crimes.
The two stories interlink constantly throughout the novel, and dramatically come totally together in the penultimate chapters of the book. Definitely edge of the seat stuff.
The story keeps you guessing right until the very end, and I finished it in two nights - great book, great story and a great author. I will definitely be checking out his other work. A must read for any crime or thriller fan - in the same line as Val McDermid and others, I feel.
Simon Kernick is a prolific UK crime writer who seems to produce books very quickly and to a similar standard. He claims that his strength is his research and his contacts within the police. The stories he writes including this one are believable police procedural novels but are not the best I have read.
This book has a fairly complex plot with lots of ends to unravel. DI Tina Boyd is the police woman who is mainly embroiled in unravelling them. She is a recurring character in Kernick's books so some will already be familiar with her. The story begins with the arrest of a suspect believed to be the "Night Creeper", a serial killer and torturer of women. All the evidence is pointing towards his guilt, but Boyd is unsure and she may be proved right as the accused tells her that he has an alibi for one of the murders and something important to tell her. However, before he can spill his guts he is broken out of custody and kidnapped.
Boyd and her team then have to go all out to find the suspect and to find out why he has been kidnapped, and if there is a secret that someone wants kept hidden.
This is a fast paced story which does keep you reading right to the end and I did find it easy to read and hard to put down. The plot is interesting and well researched and thought out. However, the standard of the actual writing and the characterisation is not as high as other books I have read in the same genre. I did not find the characters particularly believable or particularly appealing and didn't really care too much for what happened to them. However, I enjoyed the book despite this, and I will definitely be reading more of his books.