A first book for author Craig Hurren, but one that seems to have caught the imagination of the reading public, with several insisting I review The Killing Code (ISBN978-148-234-969-6, 2013, self-published).
It is a thriller in the classical manner, with the objective of dragging the reader into the story, to face the horrors between the covers.
By page 5, the person you imagined to be the lead female is dead, and not resuscitated, sorry. That’s enough action for the first half dozen pages, I am sure you will agree. However, the suicide site is not quite as it appears on first reading. There are a few strangely disquieting items at the death scene.
The only person who sees that all is not as it seems on the surface, is a rather intelligent police detective who starts piecing together two apparently unconnected events. He has a tenacity that all police officers should aspire to, and an ethical approach to life. Even to the extent of reporting his police partner to higher ups who was stealing from the system. And then having to put up with the derision of his colleagues in the force. And in addition he was a long term grieving widower. His dependence on the memory of his wife also affects his character, which has held him back in many ways, requiring the assistance of a police psychiatrist to help him continue in this position as a detective.
All the American acronyms are present, the FBI, CIA, C4 and more, and special agents start crawling out of the woodwork, as the book continues with its relentless action. Not only does the vigilant detective find the association between two crimes, but then finds himself ‘adopted’ by an even more sinister group working out of heavily fortified bunkers, using technology well beyond that which is available through Windows 8.
Some of the work is so secretive that many of the agents do not know each other by sight, but confer with coded and scrambled phone calls.
Author Hurren manages to keep the pace of the book going, with shorter paragraphs when required and timely introduction of new characters, plus the odd fight scene with SWAT teams and paid assassins and neutralizing IED’s. And to place the action indelibly in the US, the American President is also introduced to the fray. Let us not forget the oil cartel nations and a fleeting glimpse of the UN. 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.
The Killing Code is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as paperback as well as an e-version. Price seems arbitrary (in other words nobody could give me a fixed price), but around 500 baht seems to be about the right money. You can do battle with Amazon yourself, as they seem to be able to dream up any price they like for e-books, it has been my experience.