The title for John Le Carre’s 1974 spy novel “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy..” comes from an old nursery rhyme, that was used for counting, fortune telling or more commonly in recent years for picking the misfortunate person in a game of “Tag”. The English version went Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief. While American’s went with, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief, Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief.. The famous English nursery rhyme “Rub-a-Dub-Dub” also references three job occupations, The Butcher, The Baker and The Candlestick Maker. But this month’s book review can go one better, especially when it comes to glamourizing the authors past and present occupation – Boxer, Barrister, Thriller Writer. Whichever marketing genius thought of putting that on the front cover, certainly earned their bonus that month. Meanwhile the book itself is No Way To Die by Tony Kent and published by Elliot & Thompson ( www.eandtbooks.com ) on the 7th April.
When traces of a radioactive material are found with a body in Key West, numerous federal agencies descend on the scene, but it soon becomes clear that a domestic terrorist organisation is intent on bringing the US government to its knees. The threat hits close to home for Agent Joe Dempsey, when he discovers a personal connecvtion to the group. When Joe and his partner, former Secret Service agent Eden Grace’s plan to track down the device falls apart, he is forced to turn to an unlikely ally, an old enemy he thought he had buried in the past. With time running out can Dempsey and Grace stop a madman from unleashing horrifying destruction across the United States.
You got to hand it to Kent, this book is bang up to date, coming out a year after the failed insurrection at the Capitol building, along with the subtle refences to the easing of Covid restriction America will always been seen as a vast field of dreams where anything can come true, whilst also being the ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave’, but domestic terrorism is an ever-present danger, and going forward will always provide fuel for the thriller writers creative fire.
I personally found it an ok read but having not read any of Tony Kent’s other books (something I plan to correct), I had no real yard stick to base it against. It came to me as a stand-alone, when Dempsey is the main character in several of Kent’s previous books. I was slightly put off by the size of it, at over 500 pages in length, because it’s promoted on the cover as “a pulsating read”, but even with the aid of a time stamp on each chapter. I didn’t get any sense of urgency and even failed to notice the time stamp in the first three chapters. Also, the number of other character interactions I had to go through before Joe and Grace came on the scene, literally one hundred forty pages in, stopped me from really getting a feel for them.
This is English author, practising criminal barrister and former boxer, Tony Kent’s ( www.tonykent.net ) fourth book. His others are Killer Intent (2017), Marked for Death (2019) and Power Play (2020). Seen as a leader in his field, Tony has prosecuted and defended in some of the most serious trials during his twenty years at the Criminal Bar. His practice has brought him into close professional contact Britain’s GCHQ, the Security Service and the Ministry of Defence. While also working with international law enforcement agencies such as the FBI. He’s also regularly appears on numerous TV programmes as a criminal justice expert, including Meet, Marry, Murder; My Lover, My Killer and Kill Thy Neighbour. He currently lives outside London with his wife, son, and dog.
With the holiday season eight to ten weeks away, here’s an option to pass a long-haul flight or to relax with while lounging by the pool. So fight your way to the cash till in your local book shop or box clever and order online and pop this into your suitcase in advance or onto your kindle.
Reviewed by Adrian Murphy
This book review is part of a Random Things Blog Tour. To see what the other reviewers thought of it, visit their blogs listed below. Then, if you get a copy, comeback, and tell us what you thought. We’d really appreciate the feedback.