Bite

While Erica is the main female character, we do not get to see much of her in the present. Her disappearance is told entirely from Max’s point of view and what we learn about Erica, we learn from flashbacks using her journal from her days in Africa. It seems clear this must be linked to her disappearance but I have to confess it took me ages to put it together – always good if you have to keep reading to find out the answers! The journal diaries from Africa were fascinating, interesting and very vivid, I was almost annoyed when we kept switching back to present day.

 Tomorrow should be the greatest day of Erica Stroud-Jones’ life. In just twenty four hours this brilliant young scientist will present her secret work to a conference in Amsterdam – research that promises to revolutionize the battle against a deadly tropical disease. Millions of lives could be saved. Arriving to watch her are skeptics and rivals, admirers and enemies. Erica’s own eyes will be on sculptor Max Carver, her new love to whom she will dedicate her achievement. Tomorrow never comes. Erica vanishes during the night…

I was pulled into this from the first few pages, intrigued as to what could be so dangerous but clearly so innocuous as to be on a plane in the first place. However, I quickly became confused as to what was going on. There were so many characters and I was not always sure how they fitted in. Having said that I was sufficiently intrigued enough to keep reading and things start to make sense as you move through the book.

While Erica is the main female character, we do not get to see much of her in the present. Her disappearance is told entirely from Max’s point of view and what we learn about Erica, we learn from flashbacks using her journal from her days in Africa. It seems clear this must be linked to her disappearance but I have to confess it took me ages to put it together – always good if you have to keep reading to find out the answers! The journal diaries from Africa were fascinating, interesting  and very vivid, I was almost annoyed when we kept switching back to present day.

Max may have only known Erica for a short time but he is determined to find her, convinced she has been abducted and the reason is linked to her secret paper. We are left wondering  most of the way through exactly what was in her paper and I was dying to know.  Thankfully we do get to find out eventually never fear. I found Max a difficult character to get on with and I’m not sure his background would have enabled him to turn into the James Bond style superman he seemed to become. I don’t know how he was still standing at one point let alone running. He has to contend with organised crime, corrupt police and professional thieves in order to find out what happened to Erica. I admire his determination and persistence.

The premise of this story is frightening because you could actually see it happening, and all because of a throwaway comment made by a greedy pharmaceutical boss. There were lots of interesting facts about malaria and mosquitoes and you cannot help but have sympathy with the plight of those people.

Overall this is a thriller with a frighteningly real sounding premise and while I got confused, everything does come clear and make sense in the end – it seemed to get quite James Bond for a while which is not really my style of book but that doesn’t make it bad just not my ideal. There are very real moral and ethical issues running throughout this and you have to look inside yourself to think whose side are you actually on.

If you like clever action thrillers you will probably love this.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Nick Louth
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Sphere
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Why you should read – J. R. Ward

The first book I read by J. R. Ward was actually the start of a companion series to the Black Dagger Brotherhood books.  Covet impressed me in many different ways and I was curious about what her other more established series was like.  Having now finished the Black Dagger Brotherhood series for a second time and having enjoyed it even more, I can’t recommend this amazing series enough.

So why should you read J. R. Ward?

The characters Ward creates are just phenomenal.  The main cast are the Brothers and their individual stories are the focus for each book.  What makes the series truly outstanding is the presence of the other major players through each one.  You can’t have one Brother without having them all!  Sometimes those appearances are brief and often they are integral to another’s story.

The series begins with Dark Lover and you are introduced to a world of vampires living alongside humans in secrecy.  The Black Dagger Brotherhood are a group of elite vampires, engineered by breeding to be the most powerful and best warriors to protect the race not only from exposure to the humans but also from their unnatural predators – the Lessening Society.  I love Ward’s slant on the vampire mythos, that the traditional view is mostly hogwash spread by the human media with a few truths hidden within the fiction.  The truth is humans have nothing to fear from vampires.  They can’t sustain themselves from human blood so basically, they are just another race that share the planet but in ever decreasing numbers.  There is a war on, between the lessers and the vampires and the Brothers fight night after night to keep the remaining vampire population safe, often at personal cost to themselves.  They are powerful, larger than life and very very hot!

While the plot of each book might mainly be about a character unexpectedly finding their true love (they are romance novels after all), it’s the characters that make them as engaging as they are.  J. R. Ward has such a clear and vivid way of writing that you get to know them so well and the mere mention of a name conjurs up their image in your mind and how they might act and react in certain situations.  I also have to say not once in ten books have I read a scene and thought hang on, he wouldn’t do that!.

You can feel the love and sometimes exasperation Ward has for her Brothers and in turn, shares those things with the reader.   They are all so fundamentally different and you just can’t help falling in love with them, cry for them and your heart bleeds at the sacrifices they have to make for the good of the race.

The females of the series are just as much of a revelation and again so very different from each other.  Each has their own strengths and weaknesses that make them the perfect foil for the jaded and battle-weary Brothers.  Sassy, fierce, loving and brave, each one finds her way into your heart just as easily.

So if you love amazing and emotional stories with flawed yet solid warriors (did I mention they were also hot?) and the females that are more than a match for them then you should read J. R. Ward.  I dare you not to fall in love with them!