Jack Ford,
The Osiris Alliance
(Ovation, 2009)

What makes a thriller? With so many titles printed each year vying for the attention of readers, the most important requirement of a thriller like any publication is that it attracts you. But, most crucially, the next step is to hold you. It has to make you want to know more from the first few pages, and this book does just that.

In his writing debut, Jack Ford has created characters that attract the reader, but more importantly they are interesting enough to have us want them to progress and for us to follow them. Funnily enough there is no magic formula for this and even when you have doubts to begin with he wins you over. I had those misgivings because here we were again with a conspiracy, a feisty female reporter, a grumpy cop and an ex-marine lawyer (is that where all lawyers come from?) but it worked. I cared. I wanted to know more and I turned page after page after page.

Ford had another ace up his sleeve in that he latched on to my love of history. He weaves an intricate plot that returns us to the 1930s and the Lindbergh kidnapping, and he combines it with the very real thriller components of conspiracy in high places and weapons of mass destruction.

He draws on decades of legal practice and media work to flesh out two very believable characters in Adam Stark and Megan Delaney.

The chapters are sharp, short and varied giving a cinematic or television feel. One could almost visualise this as a series like 24 with the crisp prose and constantly moving storyline.

As with all thriller reviews I write this when three quarters way through so as not to inadvertently spoil the story by revealing too much. In fact revealing almost any twist here would be unfair to readers who would not experience the turns and surprises I relished. This is a book to buy and enjoy and a writer to add to your list for future works.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

10 October 2009

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