Tuesday 14 December 2010

Striker: Sudden Death

Striker: Sudden Death by Nick Hale (Egmont Press)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 9781405249508
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

What happens when your parents are divorced and after making the decision to move across the world to be with your father, incredible things start to happen, and you discover that almost everything you’ve been told is a lie?  Welcome to Jake’s life.

Jake Bastin at sixteen is a soccer team captain, and is following a life in sport left by his legendary father’s footsteps. He has abandoned Paris and his mother to join his father, Steve, in London. He barely arrives when Chernoff, his father’s friend hiding a suspect past, is poisoned in a restaurant while dining together. This sets off a course of events that force Jake to question everything he has been told by his enigmatic father.

Jake travels with his father to Russia at the request of the billionaire, Popov, in his private jet to coach a new team. While in mid-air, a fellow traveller and the two pilots are shot dead. Steve’s quick and cool-headed reaction saves their lives. Jake secretly questions the curious fact that Popov totally disregard these traumatic events, and acts as if nothing untoward has happened. These murders set a precedent for the remainder of the Jake’s Russian visit.

Jake’s curious and dissatisfied mind sends him out in search of answers and he uncovers ghastly secrets through detective work and lots of eavesdropping. He learns of sinister plots that involve his father in some way or another. Corruption seems to be everywhere and murder is a regular occurrence.

How and why is scientific research on tidal energy tied into a soccer match? Is Jake’s father really involved in murder? Why is the Russian Mafia and MI6 involved in something as everyday as sport?

This is a new action thriller series with a new young hero and countless twists and turns. It is riveting and fast-paced, and will be devoured at one sitting.  

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