Review: Dead Man's Gift: Last Night (Part 2) by Simon Kernick (5/5)

Thursday 29 May 2014


The SECOND direct to digital short-story in a race-against-time three-part adventure from the bestselling author of Relentless,Siege and Ultimatum, Simon Kernick.

MP Tim Horton is waiting to hear from his son's kidnappers. Knowing he's being watched, and too scared to go to the police, he contacts the only man who may be able to help him, his brother-in-law: an ex-soldier called Scope who has a reputation for sorting things out and getting things done.

I downloaded this at 0.05 and have just finished it at 0.30! For those that missed my review of the first part of this serial, I said that Simon Kernick is perfect for serialisation. It's a cliche but he writes the sorts of books that have you on the edge of your seat and forgetting to breathe, as one of the best thriller writers in the world I was wondering whether such a short story, cut up into three parts could be as gripping and hook me in like his full length books do. Well after part two I can safely say that they do!

In part one we were introduced to MP Tim Horton who arrived home to find his son's nanny murdered and his wife distraught after his son is kidnapped. What the kidnappers want in return is for Tim to take his own life. Tim called for help from his brother in law, Scope who is ex-army. Scope then got himself into a bit of a sticky situation and the book ended there. I was wondering how Scope would get himself out of the situation, a house surrounded by police as he stands next to a dead body... Well he does get away and catches up with Orla, the woman partly responsible for arranging the kidnap of Tim's son.

We also learn that one of the men involved in the kidnapping is a high ranking police officer but we don't know why... The police officer, Frank finds out that the dead body in the house isn't who it should be and it becomes clear that Tim has disobeyed orders and has called for help. You would imagine it to be difficult to add depth to characters or draw emotion from readers in a story so short but you really feel the Horton's pain and share in the adrenaline that Scope must be feeling and only a very talented author can succeed in doing that.

And then as the story is so short it's hard to 'review' it further. Safe to say that it was a thrilling read packed into some very short chapters. No sooner had I settled back into the story than it was over! This is both exciting and infuriating as once again I have to wait a week for the final instalment! It's pretty shocking what Tim Horton is asked to do to save the life of his child. For me though I'm wondering how the next book will progress and whether what I am hoping will happen is going to happen and whether I am a bit wrong for wanting it to!

Thriller fans don't hesitate to pick up both parts of this three part serialisation and the third part on June 5th! It's perfect for the commute to work, or for half an hour in the bath. I can't wait to see how it all concludes!

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