Simon Kernick is back with more in his thriller DI Ray Mason series, building on the momentum of the past two novels. During his long rise to fame, Alastair Sheridan has amassed great wealth and surrounded himself with a wonderful family. Now, he seeks to be prime minister of the United Kingdom and is poised to do so. He has only one deep secret that could derail this, that he is a serial killer with a long list of victims. Thankfully only a few know of this, one of whom is DI Ray Mason. It would seem that Mason is in no position to be airing this dirty laundry, as he is incarcerated for killing two people, which he does not deny, after taking the law into his own hands. When Mason is caught in a prison riot, he is injured and sent out to be treated. During the transport, the van is hijacked and Mason is taken into custody of an elusive group. He is told that he must kill Sheridan once and for all, thereby finishing something that he has always wanted to do. With Mason on the lam, he is being hunted by the police and he turns to his friend and sometimes lover, Tina Boyd, happy to help find Sheridan and put a bullet of her own in his head. With news of Mason being out of prison many old enemies join the fight to kill him, turning this into an intricate game of cat and mouse. Sheridan inches closer to holding the reins of political power, but must ensure that Mason cannot speak of what he knows. Many will die in this game, but the victor is anything but certain. A wonderful addition to the series that keeps the reader guessing throughout. Recommended to those who love their police procedurals full of momentum, as well as readers who love staying up late into the night to finish a book.
While I did not have the best memory of the Ray Mason plot line when I turned to this third book, I do remember how much I enjoyed the other two. I was not disappointed with this one, as the action began just as I was getting my bearings and did not stop throughout. Ray Mason has all but given up on being a hero, having been sent to jail and awaiting trial for killing two people at the heart of a string of killings from years ago. That said, he made promises and wants to bring answers to the victims’ families, as well as hunt down the head of the group responsible, Alastair Sheridan. Mason revisits some of the old feelings he had with Tina Boyd here, but there is little personal development for the reader to ascertain. It is likely all in the moment action. Others help to shape the story in this bloody game of cat and mouse, where only one victor can remain, but the bodies are sure to pile up. Simon Kernick does a wonderful job at showing the gritty nature of the law and how some will go to all lengths to let justice see the light of day, while others will get drunk on power and refuse to let anything stand in their way. I will have to look into more of Kernick’s work, as this book was so eventful and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Kudos, Mr. Kernick, for a great piece of writing. If only other authors of these thrillers had the exuberance to inject into their writing.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons