Hilde's Reviews > The Survivor

The Survivor by Sean Slater
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's review
Mar 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: detective, fiction, thriller
Read from February 21 to 28, 2011 , read count: 1

In an interview on the Simon & Schuster website Sean Slater reveals that Lee Child and James Patterson are some of his favourite authors, and after reading The Survivor, this does not surprise me. The book is a gritty, fast-paced thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat from the first page.

This is a book I probably would not have picked up had I not received an ARC of it, but I am glad I got the chance to read it. The setting (Vancouver) was completely new to me, as was the subject matter (Asian underground gangs). According to the cover, Slater is a "real-life Vancouver cop" and it is obvious that he knows his way around both the city and its police force.

Detective Jacob Striker is a nice guy who has been through some tough times. He is trying to come to terms with the death of his wife and being a good father to his 15-year-old daughter Courtney. She, on the other hand, is behaving like any other teenager; skipping school, trying to catch the eye of her crush, and being angry with her father. Their father-daughter relationship rang true, and I also liked Striker's relationship with his partner Felicia, who is a smart and feisty cop. Striker is good at his job and follows his hunches, even if it lands him in trouble with his superiors. We also get a bit of insight into the main antagonist's mind, with some chapters written from his point of view. This worked very well and made him more human to me. I almost felt sorry for him, rather against my will.

At times there were a lot of different plot points and clues to keep track of, but Slater does a good job of connecting all the dots in the end. The book does contain some violence and a couple of torture scenes, but they are not overly graphic. The ending took me by surprise, and felt a little more realistic than in many other books of the same genre.

Best: The authenticity. I'm not a cop nor have I ever been to Vancouver so obviously I don't know what either is really like, but it felt real while reading.

Worst: The rather silly nicknames, like Noodles, Shipwreck and Meathead. And the name Pinkerton Morningstar. I could not take that man seriously.

Bottom line: The Survivor is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you engaged from beginning to end.

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02/22/2011 page 43
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