A fast and furious series

October 13, 2011
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Last Chance to Die, by Noah Boyd (HarperCollins, RRP $39.99):

Noah Boyd is one of those rare authors who not only writes in the crime thriller genre, he also lived it.

According to Boyd’s publisher, he is an ex- United States Marine and FBI agent and during the course of his career as a Fed he tracked serial killers, captured federal fugitives and broke a narcotics ring. As you do.

All this serves to give him just a little more credence than the average thriller writer.

This is the third book in the Steve Vail series and all have been published in a fairly tight time frame, which is great for the reader because you can get right into the action without waiting too long for the next instalment.

This time around, Vail is off to visit his ladyfriend for a romantic wee New Year’s Eve interlude in Washington DC. However, things don’t go according to plan when his plans for romance are derailed by a somewhat unusual case involving a Russian intelligence officer by the name of Calculus who accuses several Americans of feeding the Russian secret service confidential US government information.

When Calculus disappears before he can pass on the list of names, the FBI fears he’s been caught out by his own government and calls on Vail to find Calculus and his list of traitors.

These Steve Vail stories are every bit as fast and furious as Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, with plenty of action, drama and plot twists to keep you turning the pages to get to the conclusion.

Often, I find convoluted and complicated plots involving international espionage just a little too convoluted. And complicated. However, Boyd has a knack of taking an incredibly complicated storyline and making it easy to follow, which is a reflection on his talents as an author and puts him in the same league as the likes of Stephen King.

I have enjoyed each of the books in this series more than the last and am certainly looking forward to the next one.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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