Yet another review of a book that I haven’t even finished yet for the simple reason that I have no intention of doing any such thing.
I enjoy an escapist thriller, but it does have to be vaguely grounded in reality. Even if it isn’t, I’ll stick with it as long as the author has taken the trouble to draw a believable character. Dead Lock by Sean Black fails miserably.
The problem starts on page 30 when Black introduces the hero, Ryan Lock, when he takes the phone call that will lead him into the plot.
Straight away we’re told that he is ex-military and now works “in high end private security, often taking on jobs that no-one else would touch. Outsiders might describe him as a bodyguard or a bullet catcher, but Lock hated the macho connotations of both terms and saw himself simply as a troubleshooter.”
Hmm. So this bloke is really, really tough and macho, but also self-deprecating and humble. Just doing a job. Yeah, right.
As if to underline his new-manliness, Lock is cooking pasta sauce for his girlfriend. He can even stir the pan while taking the call which you have to admit is impressive multi-tasking for an alpha male.
Just to nail his caring, yet granite, persona, we are briefly introduced to Angel, his devoted golden retriever who we’re told is a rescue dog, but not just any old rescue mutt. This one was personally rescued by Lock from an animal-testing unit.
Then there is Lock’s girlfriend who must be atypically discreet for a tv news reporter knowing what her boyfriend does for a living. And she doesn’t seemed to mind him flying off to the other side of the country, especially as he is unlikely to return because we are left in no doubt that the next 350 pages will be extremely perilous.
That’s because he is told the job is “super high-end”.
“Lock knew that ‘high-end’ was not-so-secret code for ‘might get you killed’. He could only surmise that ‘super high-end’ was a job likely to get you killed.”
That didn’t stop him hopping on the plane to the west coast where he met his sidekick, an African-American old army buddy who drives a pimped up car and is no doubt both lovable and lethal. Huggy Bear sprang to mind.
I couldn’t take any more. Zero stars out of five.