Friday, 16 September 2016

Nothing Short of Dying by Erik Storey

Clyde Barr is a drifter, a mercenary with a heart, a mountain man and a hunter. After sixteen years lending his muscle and expertise in conflicts across Africa and beyond, taking care of the little guy, fighting for the downtrodden and choosing sides in various third world conflicts, Clyde is tired and feeling his age. Having recently been released from a spell in a Mexican prison where he barely made it out alive, he is back in his native Colorado, in the mountains he loves, looking forward to retirement from conflict, and a quieter way of life, when he receives a panic-stricken phone call from his beloved sister Jen, pleading with him to "come and get her". He has no idea where Jen is or who has abducted her, but since their shared and troubled childhood, Clyde and his older sister Jen have had a particular bond. Nothing will prevent him from rescuing her.

And so it begins. Clyde's hunt for his sister is a roller-coaster of a ride through the wilderness, and small towns of America. A violent, bloody, modern day western of drug barons, hard men and hired guns. Throughout it all Clyde is driven by one thing - the need to save his sister. By day he mows down anyone who gets in his way, and at night he battles his demons, haunted by the memories of past conflicts, the women and children he failed to save, and the bloody bodies he left in his wake. Yet amid all this chaos, and the smell of gun smoke, Clyde shows us his softer side by finding the time to fall in love and rescue a damsel in distress, along the way.

This is Erik Storey's debut novel. With this book he shows us what master story teller he is, and the quality of his writing sweeps the reader along and kept me up into the early hours. I really enjoyed this book.

Thrillers are my usual genre of choice, although I don't usually go for action packed thrillers like this one. However, I really fell for Clyde Barr. He is Jack Reacher with a heart. He makes silly mistakes, really daft ones where you find yourself shaking your head in disbelief. He tries to do the right thing, he really wants to heal the world, but somehow he has to kill a load of bad men to make good things happen. This book is not for the faint hearted, but if you like thrillers, especially action thrillers, and if you long for the wild west where the lines between good and bad get a little blurry at times, and if you like your heroes, scarred, tough, and at times ruthless, and with a moral code all of their own, you will enjoy Nothing Short of Dying, like I did.

The really great news is that Nothing Short of Dying is the first book in the Clyde Barr series. The bad news is we are going to have to wait for book two! If the second Clyde Barr novel is anything like the first, it will be worth the wait, and I plan to be first in the queue!

Thank you to newbooks/nudge, the publisher Simon & Schuster UK, and the author Erik Storey for my free copy of Nothing Short of Dying, in return for an honest review.

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