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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thriller Reading - Redback by Lindy Cameron

I'm currently having a great time reading Redback by Lindy Cameron (pub. Mira Books). It's an action thriller novel that introduces a brand new protagonist in the form of Bryn Gideon a commander of a crack team of retrieval specialists. You'll see exactly what these Redbacks are capable of early in the book.Lindy Cameron wastes no time establishing the tone of the book as evidenced by the first few paragraphs.

It was the last good night of Lord James McQuade: he'd been wined, dined and
royally screwed. Truffles, a vintage red and sweet Miss Jones. Sixty-six years old tomorrow and not destined to outlive his wolfhound.

Dargo looked down at the sad old drunk, dribbling and asleep in a dining chair with his pants around his ankles. A peer of the realm who thought cheating on his wife with a tart from Chelsea was a manly way to ring in his next year.

Lulu had been a birthday gift from a supposedly trusted colleague, but Dargo's presence was the price, for Lord James McQuade was an irritation, a sacrifice, a pawn. (pg 1)

While the opening assassination is taking place in slow, methodical fashion, there is a much more action-based attack going on somewhere in the Pacific...

In two seconds flat the four machine gunners were smacked backward into the Banyan tree, paralysed by a precision spread of max-volt T-darts. A quad-shot
crackle of Zeus juice was the only indication that Cooper had fired, but the rebels would be cactus for at least fifteen minutes.

Gideon, whose first task was to get to the lone PRA escort before any hell broke loose, hit the ground running. Cooper was right behind, until he veered away to free the hostages in the other garden, and Wade took off down the path to the rec room.

After dodging garden statues and furniture Gideon leapt - right arm out, Beretta in hand - onto the cabin's veranda just as the soldier padlocked the cabin from the outside.

Gideon was so suddenly right next to him, unfolding out of the dark like a carved island totem come to life, that the rebel's voice locked in fear in his gulping throat. (pp 22-23)

I'm exactly half-way through the book and it's a vast multi-plot story that gallops along with crucial scenes unfolding simultaneously around the world. While the Redback Retrieval Team led by Bryn Gideon is rescuing 36 hostages on a Pacific island (as described above), American journalist Scott Dreher is being hunted by an assassin on the streets of Tokyo. In Peshawar an oddball team of Aussie agents are keeping watch on a suspected terrorist, while over in the US a group of redneck renegades are running around Texas bombing the shit out of the place.

This is turning out to be a high-quality action thriller that maintains a solid pace while measuring out necessary political manouevering and rhetoric in between some resounding moments of sheer edge of the seat moments.

At this stage I have absolutely no idea how the widely flung plotlines are going to come to gether but it promises to be a thrilling ride before I get to the end.
It may be a bit premature for predictions but this has definitely got the feel of the first book in a series to feature Bryn Gideon.