Monday, November 23, 2015


THE DARKEST DAY by Tom Wood (Signet, 2015)

Reviewed by Craig Sisterson

A loner anti-hero quicksteps his way through murky alliances while looking to avoid landmines in this high-octane thriller that keeps the needle high as it hurtles across continents to a New York showdown. 

Victor kills people for a living, and is damned good at his job. At the top of the tree, utilised by all sorts, including the CIA, for dirty jobs they need to get done. But he knows that one day it will be his turn (his enemies are legion, past and new), and is constantly assessing risks wherever he goes.

Paranoid, ruthless, highly skilled, Victor draws readers in not because he's an admirable guy but because he's extremely good at what he does, and gets himself into and out of some really exciting situations. THE DARKEST DAY, the fifth in Wood's series, is an unapologetic, out-and-out airport thriller. Fast-paced, foot-to-the-floor action with some tremendous set pieces, it's an extremely exciting read. Wood does a great job crafting a slickly told story that threads in some strands of character, setting, and philosophy, but really this is all about the page-whirring action and thrills. It's a compelling ride.

Victor is set to take out a terrorist financier in Prague, but instead finds himself scampering for survival from a dangerous rival, Raven. Was he set up by his paymasters, or has his own past come back to haunt him?

Knowing he can't let this threat continue to exist, Victor hunts Raven across the globe, trying to establish who sent her and why she came after him at this time. A man who only trusts himself, he knows those around him are lying to him - but which lies are the most dangerous, and how does he sort through the deceit?

Wood has us clinging to Victor's coat-tails as the enigmatic assassin careens from Europe to Latin America to New York City, where a showdown looms. But who is the real enemy, and what do they want? As darkness falls across the Big Apple, Victor realises he might only be a pawn in something far greater.

At times THE DARKEST DAY reads like a novel-length car chase, and it walks a tightrope of going overboard on that front, but overall I found the book to be an exciting, engaging read with a 'cool' main character.  I'd imagine fans of Jack Reacher or Jason Bourne would really enjoy what is a very fast-paced thriller that feels like it would be an ideal all-action tale for the big screen. Visual storytelling with enough intrigue laced in throughout the action to keep your mind wondering as your heart races.

Recommended for thriller fans.

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