Simon Kernick – Stay Alive
Just recently, I read the short novel by Simon Kernick ‘Dead Man’s Gift’ making me so nosy about this guy Scope I had to get hold of the full length novel Stay Alive, also featuring Scope. And in general I have not been disappointed, besides other protagonists, Scope was introduced in more depth and gained much more detail. But, as someone noted in the net, he is not David Milne. Well, he should not be, but there is missing bit with respect to the character.
Back to Stay Alive. I liked the overall story. It was great suspense and thrilling, so it was hard to put it aside (let alone, your wife or husband demands you’d care about him or her as much as you do about reading). I really enjoyed most of the protagonists being introduced, who all were characters of their own. It all starts with hunting a serial killer and takes a while before revealing the real story. As a regular thriller reader, I did have a hunch on what it was about, but only got a late confirmation on it.
Although I think it is a great story to read, it does have some annoyances. For once, it employed quite a number of coincidences to make the story work. For example, Scope being at the right place at the perfect time on several occasions (on the escape by car, at the old guys house, at the farm, etc.). The second you only find out in the end, is a key scene from the beginning of the novel, which not only runs the whole story but turns out to be a deliberate deception of the reader the way it is written. No good style and a bit unfair to the reader.
Still, I would barely hesitate to read more on Scope and other stories by Kernick. The writing is great, the story catching, and the characters splendid.