In Libya, a weapon is in terrorists hands and must be recovered.
In Chicago, a pedestrian is killed one beautiful April morning. It was an accident. According to his finger prints he died more than fifty years ago.
The noontime bombing in Wellington Square in London kills and maims without consideration of gender, race or economic portfolio.
From those storylines, Texas author Payne Harrison (author of the bestseller Storming Intrepid and others) returns to publishing after a thirteen year absence with EUROSTORM. At its heart, and as noted on the jacket copy, the book is about a lethal substance being sent by the British government to France on the Eurostar train. Unfortunately for all involved, the train is captured by terrorists and it is up to an elite group of French commandos to take back the train and its contents.
Thrillers are, by definition, supposed to thrill and they do that by relentlessly moving forward on a global scale. To do that, from a writing stand point, there are lots of people doing lots of things, in many locations all at the same time. Character development beyond the basic level necessary to identify the character in terms of strengths and weaknesses is often sacrificed to move the characters quickly in and out of various conflicts. This can result in clichéd stick figures and unfortunately that is the case here. The commandoes, as are all those on the side of right defending the planet, are amazingly strong, sexy and can perform at a super human level doing amazing feats of strength—or die. Nothing in between. The same is true of the evil doers.
The evil doers are doing evil for one of the most clichéd reasons known to mankind. A plot device that has been done to death by one thriller writer or another for decades. It also is not possible to explain what that is without destroying the main reason to read the book.
What readers are left with, if they can get by that, is a novel that starts off well before soon grinding to a near halt for a considerable stretch in the first half of the book. The second half moves much quicker and provides a lot of action before reaching a successful climax high in the Alps heavily reminiscent of Alistair McLean’s “Guns of the Navarone. “ (And if you have not read it, you absolutely should it and pretty much anything else Alistair Mclean ever wrote.)
As compared to the numerous books the author has done before, EUROSTORM is a serious disappointment. On its own, the novel is average at best and a disappointment in terms of overwriting, sense of pace, clichéd characters, clichéd plot and other issues. That is a crying shame as the novel could have been so much better.
326 Pages (book includes six page ad preview of The Emperor’s Tomb by Steve Berry
Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2011