Monday, 9 July 2018

Blog Tour: Taking Care of Business by J D De Roeck (Thriller, 10/10E)

(added a bit later than original post)

3rd July 2018, Clink Street Publishing, 458 pages, Ebook, Review copy 

Content: adult situations, some violence and gore, 

Book summary

When Paul Smith travels to the south of France for a sales conference, events conspire to drag him into a world of kidnappings, blackmail and murder. Following a violent incident, Paul instinctively offers refuge to a girl he believes to be a vulnerable lost soul in a desperate situation, only to find that all is not as it appears. Unwittingly, he finds himself caught between competing international crime syndicates as they go to war, and two powerful Russian families as they fight for control of a vast Russian conglomerate. What begins as a routine business trip to Nice, turns into a journey of self-discovery that takes him to some of the most glamorous locations on the Cote d’Azur. Paul is compelled to confront each new escalating threat in turn, while his neatly ordered world spirals relentlessly out of control. As events unfold, he is forced to challenge everything he thought he knew about himself, before finally embracing the danger and brutal violence he encounters along the way. Can Paul get to the truth, and does he have what it takes to keep those he cares about safe, and himself alive?

Nayu's thoughts
Be warned - this ends on a sort of cliffhanger which made both very mad and very happy in equal measure. It means there could well be a sequel! Initially I was a bit amused by how Paul spent so long in one location, from all other thrillers I've read what happened to him doesn't usually happen (not that there's ever anything normal about a thriller). Admittedly I started to grow tired of the action remaining in that location, but then the plot pace picked up and all was forgiven because what happens next is gripping, still not entirely what I expect from a thriller but I say that in a good way. 

It wasn't a thriller where I'm constantly on edge - there is dark and dangerous goings on, with a smidge of humour thrown in to counteract that (there's one moment where a character Paul meets figures out what is happening and his panicked reaction made me smile). I liked how a lot of the danger came from not knowing what the bad guys were doing, rather than being unable to speak a word of Russian (which didn't help matters).  Paul's companions have his back in that department, and while I may not approve of all of them, they all have an inner strength that is inspiring. For all they endure, by choice and otherwise, they keep going. They falter, but between themselves and Paul they find a way to deal with the emotional side of their ordeal and keep going for the greater good. 

I do wish that there had been a bit more focus on Katia, who was at the start of the novel and then didn't reappear until much later. I understand the focus was on Paul and the role he played, but I'd really hoped/wanted to learn more about her, to get more of a sense of dread than is portrayed by watching her from the sidelines. I love my female characters!! To be fair there's a lot of attention paid to Alisa and Kira (who I kept mentally calling Kiria for some unknown reason), who are two girls a bit broken with so much backbone I think they put the security trained individuals during the last few chapters to shame. They manage to be upbeat despite their circumstances, the inevitable wobbles they have involves some touching scenes of comfort.

I particularly liked how Paul seemed to fall into the situation - he has no secrets that relate him to anyone involved, as is the case in some stories, he simply was in the right place at the right time. I say that because he does make a difference in the end, although his lack of reaction to the results at the very end could be his mind blocking out the horrors he witnessed. Yes, there are some tragic scenes which aren't pleasant to read, especially since it involves the sicker end of humanity. I'm thankful that I already know such things happen, otherwise I'd have been more upset by it all. 

Aside from a bit of frustration by the locations at the start, I truly enjoyed the various locations that Paul and his friends end up in. They added to the delight of the story, making life that bit harder for Paul, as well as also a bit easier at times. I like to think that J D did get to visit some of them! 

While not perfect, this book is excellent, and yes it is already on my reread shelf (figuratively since ebooks stay on my ebook reader until I'm ready to reread them) which says you must read it too! I'm waiting for book 2. No idea if I'll be waiting forever, but wait I will because Paul's tale can't end like that! 

Suggested read
If you enjoy travelling in your books then check out this story which is the last in a brilliant series: Amelia Moore #7 The Lighthouse Secret by Linda Weaver Clarke (Audiobook, Cozy Mystery, 9/10E) 

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