I’m a tad ashamed to admit this but before I was invited to review Tony Kent’s latest novel No Way To Die, I had never heard of the author. This is actually surprising as I soon came to realise that Tony Kent is a big name in the action thriller genre. Now that I have read one of his books, I understand why. I will definitely be reading more Tony Kent books from now on.
No Way Die is tense and action packed. It is a thought-provoking, chilling and contemporary political thriller. Please note that I don’t use the words ‘chilling’ and ‘contemporary’ lightly as it is a powerful read, skilfully interweaving the most alarming societal behaviours of the Covid-19 pandemic into the plot. That is one of the most brilliant but scary aspects of this novel, and in this sense truly believable.
Apparently writing a novel with a focus on the impact of the Covid pandemic was not Tony Kent’s original intension when he came to write this novel. As he points out in the Acknowledgements at the end of the book, until February 2020 the novel was ‘about a race to stop a weaponised virus that threatened a pandemic in the United States‘. For obvious reasons he couldn’t continue with this original idea. However I believe the new plot he devised in light of the real-life pandemic is even more menacing and thrilling.
Ultimately No Way To Die is nerve wracking as former British government assassin Joe Dempsey joins forces with multiple US federal agencies in a race to stop a domestic terrorist group from igniting a radioactive ‘dirty bomb‘. Spanning across America with time rapidly running out, the band of special agents must work together to stop the bomb causing ‘Instant death to everyone within half a mile. And that’s before we throw in the radiation.’
I didn’t quite realise until I started reading No Way To Die that it is part of a series. Although I felt at times I couldn’t quite invest in some of the characters as much as I would have liked to, just because I didn’t know their backstories, it definitely did not stop me enjoying this novel. In fact I think it made me more intrigued, especially as Joe is forced to seek help from an old and dangerous foe from his past. A foe that was once a friend. I found this part of the novel actually quite emotive. I now want to know why exactly that friend became a foe and why he is so dangerous. I’ll only discover this by reading the other books in the series.
It is clear in the writing that Tony Kent has introduced new characters into this latest novel too, one of them being Special Agent O’Rourke from Homeland Security. Not your stereotypical Homeland agent (you’ll need to read the book to understand why) I absolutely love Bambi O’Rourke, who likes to be referred to as ‘O’Rourke. Or Agent O’Rourke. Or even Boss.‘ But as she warns, ‘Whatever you do, you never, ever call me Bambi.‘ I love Bambi O’Rourke because she is full of courage, humanity and also humour.
No Way To Die was released in hardback in November 2021 and was only released in paperback on 14 April 2022. If you love action packed thrillers, this is a book for you.
Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour of No Way to Die in return for my honest review. To read the reviews from my fellow book bloggers also on the tour, please see below.
Happy reading everyone! 🙂