Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Book review: The Killing Grounds - Jack Ford (Thomas Cooper #1)


Ex-US Navy-turned-investigator Thomas J. Cooper is tortured by the past.

A deadly fight with Somali pirates and a tragic accident at sea have left him struggling with PTSD and an addiction to prescription drugs.

When he and his colleague Maddie return to the Democratic Republic of Congo to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a plane, what they find is far more sinister and dangerous…

My opinion.
Where to even begin. The Killing Grounds is a thrilling read with such a complex and multi-layered plot, it's difficult to just sum my reading experience up in a few sentences.
First things first: I love the cover. Great design - stands out without being too loud. The same goes for the blurb. It gives you just enough to draw you in, but not too much as to give away too much of the story-line. Perfect balance.
As I mentioned before, the story is pretty complex. There's lots of different characters, each with their own secrets, but also with their own dynamics between them. I can't say all of them came across right away (the dynamic between Cooper and Maddie is a tough one for me to really understand, and Rosedale took some getting used to as well), but slowly they all find their place in the story. The same goes for the complex puzzle they stumble upon in Congo. What starts out as a pretty straight forward mission soon becomes complicated, dangerous and very unpredictable. The plot grows bigger and more detailed and when it finally clicks.. well, it left me amazed and surprised.
The beginning of the story is a bit confusing with a lot of new characters and a lot of (unfinished) conversations. As a reader you get some hints about what happened in the past between these characters, but the emotions run high from the very beginning. And those more "heated" discussions or dialogues made it a bit difficult to find your bearing.
I was hooked from the moment their mission started and I have a feeling I will think back on this book, long after turning that last page. Because apart from some more "difficult" dynamics and dialogues between the characters, this was a thrilling read. The Killing Grounds has relationships, politics - both US and international - violence, grief, addiction, religion and superstition and so much more at its heart, all with an incredible amount of research and detail. I would definitely love to revisit Thomas Cooper in Jack Ford's upcoming novels.


Thank you HQ Stories for the opportunity 
to read and review an ARC of this thrilling read.

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