The Time to Kill

Written by Mason Cross

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


The Time to Kill
Orion Publishing
RRP: £13.99
Released: June 30 2016
PBK

Carter Blake is a man with a secret, the sort of secret that people in high places are willing to kill to keep concealed.

Five years earlier he was a member of a secret government anti-terrorist operation empowered to act outside the law. Blake banked on the knowledge of its activities being his guarantee of survival; but now it might be his death warrant. The operation, code name ‘Winterlong’ has a new director determined to clear away any awkward traces of past misdeeds, and so Blake is suddenly on the run from his former comrades.

This novel from the author of The Killing Season and The Samaritan takes a simple idea, pitting a resourceful fugitive against multiple opponents and overwhelming odds and pushes it to its limits. The result is a thriller with pace and action to spare and a new series character with significant potential.

Cross shows an impressive mastery of creating non-stop action and ever more inventive scrapes to get Blake into and then back out of again. In Carter Blake he has created a series character with a depth that goes far beyond his lightning reflexes and superior trade-craft suggesting further secrets will be explored in subsequent books.

He also makes a knowing nod towards the long shadow cast over America by the 9/11 attacks and the military 'adventures' in Afghanistan and Iraq that followed in their wake. Mason Cross explores [with his protagonist Carter Blake] the way the war on terror opened the door for the more paranoid elements of the government and military to act without oversight, or restraint.

This is a skilfully constructed book packed with action from start to finish that continues the adventures of a series character with the potential to rival Jack Reacher, and I anticipate that it will be required summer reading for thriller fans.

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