The Ultimatum

Written by Karen Robards

Review written by John Parker

John Parker is a Graduate-qualified English/Spanish Teacher, owner and director of CHAT ENGLISH, an English Language Centre in Avilés on the north coast of Spain . A voracious reader, he has particularly loved horror fiction for many years.


The Ultimatum
Hodder and Stoughton
RRP: £20.99
Released: June 15 2017
HBK

Robards’ book starts off twenty-two years in the past. John Kemp, a hit man approaches a house on a mission to kill the man, woman and young girl who live within. After successfully accomplishing his mission, or so he thinks, we find ourselves in the present day where the smart, talented and beautiful Bianca St. Ives is on a mission to help steal 200 million dollars and classified government documents, while attending a party at a palace in Bahrain. This mission goes out of the window when Bianca discovers that somebody has got there before her team. Things go from bad to worse, resulting in the apparent death of her father.

Returning to her “normal” life, Bianca is not 100% sure about her father’s death, despite having witnessed a truck, which her father was driving, go up in a ball of flame. It turns out that others are rather cynical about his death, including the U.S government.  Five months later, Bianca receives an email addressed to her father requesting his special services. Is it a legitimate job or is she being used as bait to draw him out?

After the prologue, the sequence in Bahrain involving the failed heist takes place in just over an hour in the story but takes up one-third of the book. And it is brilliant. It had me on the edge of my seat. Robards effortlessly keeps up the tension as Bianca has to use all her guile to escape from the palace without having her cover blown. The second and third acts are of the same high standard.  I don’t want to give away any more. You should read it for yourself. It’s a really fun and nail-biting espionage story and, despite her unlikely name, I fell in love with the character of Bianca St.Ives and I look forward to the next instalment. Don’t miss it.  



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