Review published on September 26, 2016.
Clyde Barr has only recently been released from a Mexican prison when his sister unexpectedly phones him. She is in trouble and needs Clyde to come and rescue her from a man who will kill her once he has the information he needs. Then the line goes dead.
I was initially drawn to Erik Storey’s debut thriller as I had read several of the Jack Reacher books and enjoyed that series. However, despite the various comparisons, I didn’t really see the similarity between the two characters. Jack Reacher is ex-military and much more polished, whereas Clyde Barr has a dark past and has learnt how to survive through numerous violent encounters whilst working as a mercenary and while imprisoned.
Having said that, Nothing Short of Dying is a fast-paced, gritty thriller that jumps straight into the action from the second page and doesn’t stop. I read the book in one sitting and really enjoyed the amount of detail used to describe the various weapons and hunting techniques used by Barr, as well as the local terrain. The author, who formally worked as a wilderness guide and hunter, definitely used his previous experience to his advantage and, by showcasing his knowledge of these subjects, he made the plot and the characters feel very authentic.
There were clues about Barr’s past throughout the novel that hinted toward future plot developments and possible storylines, and I am certainly looking forward to this book being developed into a series in which his character can progress.
Amanda Graham 3/4
Nothing Short of Dying by Erik Storey
Scribner 9781471146831 hbk Aug 2016