I am delighted to share my review today for The Siege by John Sutherland. This is a fabulously tense, thriller that had me absolutely hooked. Also, very Happy Publication Day to you John 🙂
My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging for my copy of this book from the Publisher – Orion Books.
Nine hostages. Ten hours. One chance to save them all.
Lee James Connor has found his purpose in life: to follow the teachings of far-right extremist leader, Nicholas Farmer. So when his idol is jailed, he comes up with the perfect plan: take a local immigrant support group hostage until Farmer is released.
Grace Wheatley is no stranger to loneliness having weathered the passing of her husband, whilst being left to raise her son alone. The local support group is her only source of comfort. Until the day Lee James Connor walks in and threatens the existence of everything she’s ever known.
Superintendent Alex Lewis may be one of the most experienced hostage negotiators on the force, but there’s no such thing as a perfect record. Still haunted by his last case, can he connect with Connor – and save his nine hostages – before it’s too late?
This was such a tense book and it soon became obvious to me that I was not going to put it down until it was finished. A brilliant story from start to finish.
As the synopsis shows, there are 9 hostages, and only 10 hours to save them. The story revolves around three main characters, Lee, Grace and Alex.
Lee is a young man who takes the 9 people hostage.
Grace is one of the hostages.
Alex is a police negotiator.
There are other characters that have supporting roles, but the focus is on these three. How they came to be in the situation they are in. But more importantly, this story gets under the skin of the characters, into their minds and this makes it a fabulously addictive read.
In some respects, this is a slow-paced story, tentative steps, planning, conversations, background and negotiations are all wrapped into the personal lives of the main three. While it is slower-paced, it is also so tense and tight that it feels as if it is a faster pace. I know this sounds very convoluted, but while the essence of the negotiations is controlled the feelings of those concerned felt fraught. I think it is the element of danger, the wonder of what will happen that add a thriller feel.
Each of the characters is introduced, and their individual stories are expanded on throughout the book. As a reader, it is great to see into the minds and lives of people in situations and also into their beliefs. This does have race and immigration at its core, but there is something that is much deeper to this story. It is a story of manipulation and of false or fake news, and how easy it is for people to believe in unsubstantiated facts.
I think this is a fabulous read, the atmospheric tension makes this a page-turner and the characters are so wonderfully portrayed. My thoughts at the beginning of the book were different by the time I had finished it. There is a wonderful message behind the story and it is one that really resonated.
This is a book for fans of tense, suspense-filled crime, thriller and with a wonderful psychological feel to it. I adored every part of this book and I would definitely recommend it. Now I have read a little more “About the Author” I can see this is a guy who definitely knows his stuff, this really shows within this story. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JOHN SUTHERLAND is a father of three who lives with his wife and children in south London. For more than twenty-five years he served as an officer in the Metropolitan Police, rising to the rank of Chief Superintendent before his retirement on medical grounds in 2018. John is a sought-after public speaker and commentator on a broad range of issues, who regularly appears on TV and radio and writes for major newspapers. His first book, BLUE, written and published while he was still serving in the Met, was a Sunday Times bestseller. It tells the remarkable stories of his policing life and describes his long road to recovery following the serious nervous breakdown that ended his operational policing career.
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