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Wednesday 24 January 2018

‘The Killing Grounds’ by Jack Ford

Published by HQ,
29 June 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-00-820307-8 (PB)

This book is the first in an exciting new series featuring ex-US Navy –turned high-risk investigator Thomas J. Cooper. He’s an emotional man tormented by his past and deadly encounter with Somali pirates in the Horn of Africa. That coupled with a tragic accident at sea that resulted in the disappearance of his sweetheart means he must battle endlessly with PTSD and an addiction to prescription drugs.

Set between the US and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cooper’s new assignment is to recover an aeroplane from the DRC and return it to the US. With a close-knit team of colleagues that also comprises his estranged wife, Maddie, he ventures into that vast, edgy and complex country. The reader is given rare insights into the territory immortalised by Joseph Conrad ‘s Heart of Darkness and of superstition, ancient tribal rituals and voodoo.

The book has an enormous cast of characters and the research that has gone into the writing is truly impressive although at times somewhat too detailed.   However, I urge the reader to persevere with the journey because he/she will be rewarded by a rip-roaring tale.

I would categories this as a thriller where the shenanigans of politics and business collide, where characters are portrayed as either sinister and menacing or decent but flawed.  Every page is an extraordinary action-packed, rollercoaster ride that feels as though it is never going to come to a full stop. But when it does, you’ll be clamouring for more…
Reviewer: Serena Fairfax

Jack Ford is a novelist and is the author of six gritty British crime novels published under a pseudonym. Having studied global political Islam and American politics Jack went on to take a Master of Science degree in counter-terrorism, and will further those studies next year by tackling a PHD focusing on radicalisation and extremism. Jack lives in a quiet part of England and has three children along with lots of dogs and horses.

Serena Fairfax spent her childhood in India, qualified as a lawyer in England and practised in London for many years. She began writing by contributing feature articles to legal periodicals   then turned her hand to fiction. Having published nine novels all, bar one, hardwired with a romantic theme, she has also written short stories and accounts of her explorations off the beaten track that feature on her blog. A tenth, distinctly unromantic, novel is a work in progress. Thrillers, crime and mystery narratives, collecting old masks and singing are a few of her favourite things.

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