Monday, September 24, 2012
"Siege", by Simon Kernick
The author leads by introducing a fascinating list of characters and their credentials before getting to the meat of the action, a 24 hour period when all hell erupts into a day to remember. The intense drama starts with the brutal killing of a young maid who innocently opens the door to her master’s domain. Simultaneous attacks are launched at railway stations and shopping centers in an effort to divert attention from the main target the prestigious fictional Stanhope Hotel in central London. The terrorists’ goal is to shock and intimidate the rest of the world by holding hotel guests and staff as hostages and threaten to murder them one by one if their demands are not met. The captors strongly underestimate their victims will to live and the ensuing mayhem is a real adrenalin rush. The author adds colour to the drama by entering into the psyche and the past history of each character involved. As time progresses and darkness falls, the gunmen become increasingly violent and the captors more and more determined to increase their chance of survival.
In one of the sub-plots, we see how Arley Dale multi tasks as head detective overseeing the police operation at the hotel and how she handles a personal crisis that arises when she learns her family is one of the terrorists’ distractive measures.
This is another exciting thriller that gave me many hours of reading pleasure.