Hot on the heels of his first book The Killing Code, author Craig Hurren has come out with the sequel, The Killing Chase (ISBN 978-150240-967-6, 2014).
I reviewed The Killing Code and concluded, “This plot has everything, and only a very wild imagination could or would come up with it. For a first book, this is a stunner. The truth of this writer’s excellence will depend upon his being able to come up with another equally as baffling.” And with those sentiments in my mind, The Killing Chase arrived on the reviewer’s table.
Looking to the future, after the commercial success of The Killing Code, Hurren has kept the same format and central characters (Beach and Riley) as before for this new book, and in fact, has already started on the third in the series, to be called The Killing Cohort.
Author Hurren has the ability to keep the pace moving along, with gruesome details tripping over each other, and scenes of horror reminiscent in places of the cult classic movie in 1932 based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” starring Bela Lugosi.
The Thai side of the story is given credibility with the references to actual places, and the description of Jomtien as being “areas of affluence and taste, interspersed with pockets of dereliction and failed dreams. Uncompleted housing developments and failed condominiums bore silent witness to the Asian financial crisis of 1997.”
Author Hurren introduces some Australians to the reader, and far from being caricatures, he does make them realistic and easily recognized against his American heroes. That alone shows a skill with words that escapes many would-be writers.
Hurren runs two plots at the one time, with alternating chapters, but around half way through the book manages to join the two together in a very credible way to give the reader the Alan Beach and Jake Riley duo as the central characters.
The technology being described in the book is certainly way beyond me (who still has trouble with the remote control on the video player), and I am unsure as to whether he is describing current technology, or Sci-Fi. However it is feasible, with the advances being made in the electronic world.
DNA testing is featured in the plot, something we have all become accustomed to in Thailand recently.
Whilst this book would come under the general category of ‘thriller’, there is enough horror for it to also be given a horror rating.
As well as showing the American side of the CIA and other acronyms, the reader is also given the Russian side on espionage and plain old dirty dealing and the hierarchy of the Russian-style Mafia.
Human emotions are explained and laid open for the reader to assimilate, with one of the CIA’s wives being a psychologist, again giving credibility to the scene. These snippets assist the reader to become engrossed in the plot.
Once again, I have enjoyed Hurren’s work, and consider this second book to be marginally better than his first. The third book will attract even more readers to his work. Price? Around B. 600.