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Friday 31 March 2017

‘Safe from Harm’ by R J Bailey

Published by Simon & Schuster,
12 January 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-4711-5716-5 (PB)

If the author of this pacy, high-octane thriller is to be believed, there's been an upsurge in the number of women engaged in close personal protection recently – so perhaps Sam Wylde, the feisty protagonist, is in the vanguard of a new wave of fictional heroines too.

If they're all as entertaining as Sam, I hope so. Safe From Harm is a book to read in one sitting; from the scene-setting first chapters right through to the explosive cliffhanger ending, the story raced along holding my attention in an iron grip, and threatened to keep me up way past bedtime.

Sam Wylde's past as an army medic has endowed her with skills which bodyguarding puts to good use: evasive driving, acute observation, a talent for combat both armed and unarmed, and most important of all a sixth sense for danger which amounts to eyes in the back of her head. She also has a weakness: her spirited teenage daughter Jess, for whom she would lay down her life in a heartbeat.

When she takes on the job of protecting another teenager, Nuzha, and her mother, she knows there are threats lurking on the sidelines, and not only from violent extremists. She has also made enemies of her own, notably Bojan, and Eastern European thug who she bested against the odds in an unfair fight. And when MI5 get involved, her life takes on a whole new dimension. Fortunately she has good friends she can rely on in a pinch – and there are plenty of pinches.

The result is an action-packed plotline, full of thrills, spills and corkscrew turns, peopled by larger-than-life characters who drive cars the price of a small house and live in an obscenely wealthy part of London we lesser mortals can only imagine – and imagine it on our behalf is what R J Bailey does, in enough detail to bring it to vivid life. The lines between good and bad guys aren't always clear, and that cliffhanger ending is a real shocker.

A second Sam Wylde thriller is promised next year – definitely something to look forward to.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick

RJ Bailey. Safe From Harm is the first novel in a new series by this debut author

Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime fiction.

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