Chris Hutchinson is a man on the run. Imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, Hutch escapes from a British maximum security prison and starts a new life in Hong Kong. Then a ghost from his past catches up with him, forcing him to help a former terrorist break out of a Bankok prison. Or face life behind bars once more.
Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Administration wants to nail the vicious drug warlord responsible fo rflooding the States with cheap heroin. And decides to use Hutch as a pawn in a deadly game.
Hutch's bid for freedom takes him into the lawless killing fields of the Golden Triangle, where the scene is set for one final act of betrayal.
©1997 Stephen Leather; (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd
"In the top rank of thriller writers." (Jack Higgins)
This is a writer with talent. In the beginning there seem to be a lot of disjointed events with no clear thread connecting them, but as the story unfolds, in extremely well written dialog, the pieces come together in a very exciting action packed fashion. The narrator is spectacular, the description of places, people and events as good as it gets and the story takes you on a very unique journey, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Myanmar, in cities and in slums and in the jails. This book is so good and unique that I do not want to give away any plot spoilers in this review by talking about specifics of the book. This is the second book I have read by Stephen Leather and as much as I liked the first one (The China man) this book has made me a fan of this writer.
If you are looking for a really surprisingly good action / thriller you have heard nothing about this is the one.
"fast-paced criminal thriller"
Having not read anything by this author before, I wasn't sure what to expect. This was a fast-paced thrilled set in the murky world of the heroin trade, spanning South East Asia, America, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland. Escaped convict Hutch's new life is destroyed when an old prison comrade forces him to break out another man from a Thai jail. Interwoven with the main story there are horrifying vignettes of the other criminal activities surrounding the drugs trade. This dirty, shocking world was brutally portrayed in the narrative.
Despite the majority of the characters being morally dubious in some respect, the division between the 'good' and 'bad' characters becomes clear and I found myself rooting for one side. I very nearly cheered when my least favourite characters came to a sticky end!
The characterisation by the reader was excellent and really added to my enjoyment of the book. There are so many threads and characters that the use of accents helped bring each one to life.
The plot was good and while I often felt I had a fair idea where it was going next (and I turned out to be right), that didn't spoil my enjoyment because it got there with style. It was almost like you could see the outcome unfolding, like a sports event shown in slow motion, but you were left admiring the way it was achieved and not wishing the author had blindsided you with a plot twist.
I thought a large part of the plaudits for my enjoyment should go to the narrator, who brought the right amount of suspense without over acting it, and had a good selection of believable accents that drew you into the characters and brought them to life excellently. His portrayal of Billy Winter was excellent and he got across just the right balance of nasty piece of work with a silver tongue … a difficult balancing act.
A new author to me but as I love the far east I thought it sounded quite interesting and I wasn't disappointed. It was a fast paced thriller with qiute a few twists and a very satisfying end. I thought the narrator did really well with the various accents even if I did find his delivery a bit irksome at times. All in all a good listen giving a really good insight into the inside workings of the Thai justice system which I assume was fairly true to life.
"Nasty people fall out"
None of the characters appealed to me and as a result I was not concerned when bad things happened to them. The story is inventive but short on authenticity and the ending pure nonsense derived from Hollywood. As a book it deserves only two stars but Paul Thornley narrates so well that some suspense is maintained and the weak characterization enriched by his fluency with accents.
It took me awhile to get into this and I did restart as I lost the plot - but I think it was more me that the book. I really am pleased I did as it was worth it and the plot took several twists and turns that you don't see coming. Although I do feel the end was rushed and rapped up too quick - would have appreciated a bit more detail - but I did enjoy and really like this narrator - just love his voice
My first Stephan Leather book. Very pleased with it. Superbly narrated by Paul Thornley. The book takes you into the frightening prospect of being in a Bangkok jail, not very pleasant. Plenty of twists in the book.
"The Solitary Man"
Fast pace, outstanding plot and his stunning descriptions are remarkable, I could perfectly visualise the sites and sounds of Bankok prison in all its glory ? though probably not reccomended! An excellent, well described ending and you will be pleased when the ?baddy? of the piece meets his well deserved end in the closing chapter! The narator, Paul Thornley is a true professionl and brings life to the book.
I loved this book. It is exciting and kept me interested until the very last page. I have not listened to anything by Stephen Leather that I did not enjoy and I love Paul Thornley's narration.
The character of the hero.
His intonation is so personal and different that it brings the characters to life. There is generally a touch of humour in his voice that adds to the overall performance.
No but I looked forward to starting it again each day. Went for long walks so that I could get a good long listen in.
Stephen Leather/Paul Thornley. Match made in heaven.
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