One minute, ex-cop Tom Bishop is spending another sleepless night in his gaol cell; the next, a surprise prison transfer turns into an unwilling escape into a hot and bloody summer evening. From there, things for Bishop get worse: break and enter, murder, kidnapping—and that’s just the start of a brutal, tense and terrifyingly local (if you’re me—the author unexpectedly namedropped both my train line and workplace) thriller that is flat-out fast-paced feverishly-excited enjoyment throughout.
From the moment the book opens Bishop gets no respite, thrown from one situation into another, doing his best to help those in need while not exactly being a kind and gentle cuddly-bear-type protagonist. After all, he’s suffered badly in the past, and those who crossed him still need to pay. While Preston busts out a few corkers, like: “Despite the advertisements, there wasn’t much room in the boot of a Ford, and Bishop’s legs were starting to cramp”, Bishop just isn’t the kind of guy who has time for wisecracks; he’s far too busy trying to get shit done in an environment full of file-pushers. And all respect to him for it; he’s got a lot to deal with, what with all the jumping out of windows, dodging gunfire and running hell-bent around Melbourne’s streets. (If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like for New Yorkers to constantly see their city destroyed in movies, you’ll love this.) Dealing with Melbourne’s CBD being in gridlock at the same time as criminals are seemingly using the streets as a playground ain’t easy; no one can get anywhere, and the good guys they don’t know where to go. It takes Bishop and those who he can trust—or trust enough, anyway—to find out what the kidnappers want, and who it is that’s pulling all the strings.
This is genuine, nail-shredding excitement. I had to take a couple of breaks just to get a glass of water and calm down so I didn’t internally gasp out all of my oxygen. With all of Bishop’s talents and physicality, it can get faintly ridiculous at times, but make no mistake—like the best kind of action movie, you don’t care in the least. You just want him to get the bad guys, and if a few things need to blow up then all the better. Let’s put it this way: at chapter eighty I went off and made myself a bowl of popcorn to take me through to the end with the proper gravitas. Get that butter melting, people, and strap yourself to your e-reader. It’s gonna be a blast.
*throws keyboard out of window, walks off into the distance to badass soundtrack*
This is one of them newfangled ebook-whatsits. You can get it here!