End Game by Allan Hendry
|End Game by Allan Hendry|
|Genre: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A fast-paced and action-packed eco-thriller to make you think exactly where we're going - and who is likely to do something about it. Allan Hendry popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 260||Date: December 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
A decade ago arms dealer Peter Rossi and Bill Rawlings, theologian, were in rough terrain two thousand feet above the Dead Sea. Rawlings was looking for something, but what, or where? It still wasn't entirely clear to Rossi when it was necessary for them to make a dramatic escape from a group of men - and the resulting carnage would be the stuff of nightmares for Rossi for many years to come. A decade later and at the other side of the world Bradley O'Connor, billionaire computer scientist, was forced to land his vintage plane on a mountain track in heavy snow and in the cold and lonely night which followed found his plane surrounded by a group of men eerily similar - had he but known it - to those Rossi and Rawlings had encountered.
At Oxford University a dietary researcher could not reconcile some of the conclusions her research was throwing up. Her professor thought that her request to check a couple of the places with unusual findings - to see if she could substantiate the data - was little more than an attempt to do some travelling. But Dr Kiri Williams was genuine in her intentions and shocked when the two sites were worryingly similar, unwilling to help - and put her in mind of a cult. Her husband, Dr Tony Williams had been experimenting on protesters in ways which went slightly beyond the accepted norm but he was surprised when someone attempted to headhunt him to join a laboratory in Switzerland who were doing similar work. How come he'd never heard of them and why does the lab seem rather like a prison?
Peter Rossi had prospered over the years, although some of the deals he'd done seemed only just legal enough to get an export licence. When he's asked to do some upgrades he finds it difficult to refuse and whilst in Costa Rica in connection with the work he manages to include some time with girlfriend Iona Duncan. She's a tropical plant collector and on her next trip to the country only narrowly escapes a massacre - which doesn't seem to be making the news to the extent that she would have expected. When the five compare their experiences it's obvious that something very strange is going on, that it's extensive and a considerable threat. Not knowing who to trust they pool their resources to investigate.
It's fast and it's fiendishly clever, if occasionally just a little heavy on coincidence. Earth's human population is now seven billion and that's increasing by six million people a month. That's obviously not sustainable indefinitely - but how is it to be changed? What happens when a group of people decide to make the problem - and the solution - their own? It's an eco-thriller, but forget any idea of tree-hugging as this sect's way to save the world involves an impressive array of gadgetry with the end obviously justifying the means.
The men come off the page rather better than the women. I was impressed by the characters of Tony Williams - a man with obvious flaws but a deep-seated loyalty - and Peter Rossi, a man in a morally-ambiguous profession, who almost felt a degree of responsibility for what happened, but then if he hadn't done the deal, wouldn't someone else?
It's a good plot which leaves plenty for the reader to think about, but equally you can read it as a straightforward action thriller. And there's certainly plenty of action. I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If you enjoy thrillers then we can recommend some short stories - Thriller edited by Clive Custler. You might think of Dan Brown as THE thriller writer but - be warned - End Game is way better than Digital Fortress despite the fact that there's quite a bit about computers in both.
Allan Hendry was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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