Killer Thriller (Ian Ludlow #2), by Lee Goldberg

Eight stars

Lee Goldberg’s highly entertaining new series seeks to top the rave reviews its debut novel received with another instalment. Just as funny and full of thrills, readers will surely be ready for another high impact piece that keeps them guessing. Ian Ludlow is still basking in the success of his latest thriller novel, while remembering how it was tied closely to actual events he lived. Now, he’s being sent to Hong Kong to drum up support for the cinematic interpretation of one novel, while using his time there to do some background research on his next thriller. Alongside him is Margo French, his former book escort turned sidekick during his previous adventures. While Margo has plotted out some wonderful scenes to visit for the upcoming book, Ludlow has problems of his own. His complex plot notes about the Chinese using technology to backdoor their way into America has strong ties to a covert operation presently underway, sending the Chinese into a frenzy. Ludlow is a targeted man and must be eliminated before he can (inadvertently) reveal all through his next book. Additionally, there are ties within the US Government that could help facilitate an easier entry into the country, all of which comes to a head as Margo realises the danger in which they find themselves. It will be a race to stay safe and overturn the ultimate plot, while Ian Ludlow tries to handle the bastardisation of his novel at the hands of a director who wants nothing but a large dose of self-praise. Goldberg has done it again, keeping the reader enthralled until the very end with this explosive piece of work. Recommended for those who enjoyed the first in the series and like a little light reading.

Lee Goldberg is still a new name for me, though much of his past work has received a great deal of notice. His ability to mix humour with a wonderful thriller keeps the reader hooked until the final pages and wanting to know just a little more. Ian Ludlow comes across as a wonderfully focussed author who wants to grab hold of life and write the next big thing. Standing in his way in that eerie knowledge that much of what he puts to paper, however outlandish, seems to come back to bite him. He remains full of pep and banters well with those around him, losing none of his pizzazz throughout the novel. Complementing him well is Margo French, who has her own sort of independence and passion for life. No longer as down and out as she might have been remembered, she is working hard and finding trouble alongside Ludlow like no other. Their interactions are wonderful and keep the story light throughout. The cross-section of others in the narrative propel things in a number of directions, all of which work well. The reader is able to see the Hong Kong experience from a variety of angles and the characters enrich that experience effectively, while adding to some of the thrills that develop throughout. The story is not as hokey as it may appear, though there are surely some moments of head shaking and completely tomfoolery. Perhaps that is what keeps the story moving forward and entertaining. This is light reading at its best and the reader is surely in for a treat with this piece.

Kudos, Mr. Goldberg, on another successful piece. I am eager to see what awaits in the coming months.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: