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by Andy McNab
Bantam, October 2012
400 pages
18.99 GBP
ISBN: 059306948X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

After a failed attempt to capture a terrorist on Hampstead Heath, SAS Sergeant Tom Buckingham, call sign Posh Lad, heads back to Hereford for an evening with his girlfriend, Delphine, but as ever, relationships take a backseat when anything to do with the Regiment is concerned. Not for the first time, Buckingham breaks a promise to her and finally, Delphine has had enough and decides to end their relationship and return to France.

Buckingham decides to follow her, despite the fact that he's on thirty minute call and shouldn't even be setting foot outside Hereford. As a plot device to get our hero on board the doomed Eurostar train to Paris, this is simple but effective. When the same terrorist who narrowly evaded capture on Hampstead Heath is spotted by Buckingham on the train, a desperate race against time to save the passengers begins.

If you're looking for subtlety in any way, shape or form, then Andy McNab's books aren't for you. But if you'd like to give your brain a rest from the inevitable mental gymnastics needed to follow so many thrillers and crime novels, then you won't go far wrong with RED NOTICE. The book has a refreshingly linear narrative, gathering pace from a lively start and maintaining it to the end. There are no massive surprises anywhere, but the book is none the worse for that.

The narrative is peppered with detail designed to lend authenticity, although the effect of the frequent use of acronyms and jargon is rather diluted by a jarring tendency to include an explanation of the term in brackets after its first use. Despite this, McNab is a master of the art of conveying just enough info to reveal the extent of his inside knowledge of the workings of the Regiment, as the SAS is known, without resorting to any lamentable info dumps.

As a frequent traveller through the Channel Tunnel, albeit on the car transporter rather than the train, I will admit that this book was a pretty easy sell where I was concerned. But the good thing about RED NOTICE is that it does exactly what it says on the tin. It delivers thrills at breakneck speed and introduces a likeable new hero in the Posh Lad. The ending is clearly set up for a sequel, and that's fine by me. This is simple, uncomplicated stuff and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Linda Wilson is a writer, and retired solicitor, with an interest in archaeology and cave art, who now divides her time between England and France.

Reviewed by Linda Wilson, November 2012

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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