Dec 20, 08
Read in January, 2004, read count: 1
Part of what makes the reading of this novel so enthralling is its setting in ultra-modern times; the threat comes from al-Qaeda, who are still the world’s number one terrorist presence, and as such the story seems eerily real. But I get ahead of myself.
This is yet another, slightly generic story by Chris Ryan, the ex-SAS man whose strength is to make the pulse-pounding action in his stories seem extraordinarily real. In fact you can almost believe that the hero in the story, Matt Browning, is Ryan himself, as he obviously models his leads on his past experiences and career. Reading all of the little tricks, traps, and methods used by the ex-SAS men is part of what makes this such a great read.
The only problems with this story for me are the gratuitous sex scenes, which are thrown into the plot every ten minutes and really knacker the pacing sometimes, and also a penultimate chapter, dealing with an assassin named Sallum, is seemingly excised from the book, due to length constraints perhaps, thus missing out on one of the most potentially exciting showdowns of all.
Otherwise, this is top-notch entertainment, written with a breathless pacing and tons of intrigue and action. There are double-crosses all round, death and danger at every corner, and Ryan isn’t afraid to be coldly explicit when describing murder – yes, little kids are killed, and killed violently, which is very upsetting when you read it.
As many critics have said, Ryan doesn’t write great literature, but he writes what people want to read which is why his books are always in the bestseller lists for an age. Greed contains everything needed for a great thriller: just the right amount of characters, all with their own believable personalities; tons of gritty action throughout; familiar British and Mediterranean locations, an eye for detail, sharp dialogue and conflict on every page.
An excellent page-turner and from the moment they make the hit on the ship, you won’t be able to stop reading as the plot goes into overdrive until the very last page.