Friday, December 9, 2016

Book Review: Say A Little Prayer

Title: Say A Little Prayer
Author:  Giles O'Bryen
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publishing Date: October 25th 2016
Source: Amazon Kindle
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Note: I won this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. All thoughts  and opinions are my own and are 100% unbiased. 

This review has taken me a few months to complete. I was that conflicted. I may change my review as I process my feelings, or if I decide to re-read this book. 

I won't say this book as bad. It was just sort of boring in a lot of ways. It lis listed as some incredible thriller but honestly it dropped the ball. The brutality in the first few pages make your prep for some stomach churning drama. I expected this book to pack a real punch. After a while I didn't even want to finish it. It was boring and in parts horrific to read.  

The story start out during the war in Kosovo. James Palatine refuses to leave unless he can save a twelve year old girl. She is dying and he is trying to get her to some sanctuary that will keep her safe. Of course there is drama and questions of how safe she will be. He is sort of forced with the thought of leaving her to her fate. 

It turns out he dropped her off with sex trafficers. She is now stuck in a child prostitution ring. This makes his new mission, to rescue her from the hell he dropped her into. This was such a hard part of the book for me. This is truly a violent, graphic, and somewhat terrible story. 

Maybe I am too sensitive to read topics where children are being hurt or abused. Maybe this book isn't for a faint of heart person. I just felt like this book pushed the envelope a bit much. I just am unsure if the story needed quite so much violence. 

I won't say I don't recommend this book, just understand what your getting yourself into before diving head first. 

Goodreads Description: 

Kosovo, 1999. In the shadow of an impending NATO bombing campaign, James Palatine of the Army Intelligence Corps has joined an elite unit of the SAS for his first mission behind enemy lines.

A woman’s desperate cry for help draws them to a remote farmhouse, where Palatine makes a split-second decision that he bitterly regrets. Just hours later he sees a chance to redeem himself—in his own eyes, at least—when his unit finds a young girl close to death in the freezing woods. But rescuing the girl proves only to be the beginning of a new nightmare.

Against a backdrop of escalating violence, Palatine’s life spirals into an underworld of predatory gangsters and duplicitous spies—and takes him on a journey deep into the horrors of war and the darkness within his own soul.

Author Info: 

I was born in the village of Beaulieu, Hampshire, home to the National Motor Museum, where I got my first job - as a monorail driver. My three sisters and I were brought up in countryside surroundings that were utterly idyllic until we became teenagers, at which point we yearned to go to London.

I've spent most of my career in publishing - books, magazines, journals, web sites - most recently as MD of the political publisher Verso. I've edited everything from literary fiction to legals texts, but my real ambition was always to be a novelist. I started writing properly about five years ago. I love thrillers, adventures and crime, and I had in my mind a strong, intelligent and slightly obsessive character who is capable of great violence, but also feels deeply uneasy about it. This man became James Palatine, the hero of 'Little Sister'. To help differentiate James from other heroes, I decided early on that he wouldn't drink much, and that he would never swear (other characters in my books do - many of them are pretty bad people).

Thinking about James Palatine's character led me to read books about soldiery and violence, and in particular how people react to the experience of killing a fellow human being. This research fed into 'Say a Little Prayer', which I wrote immediately after 'Little Sister', although it is a prequel to that story.

I live with my wife in Tufnell Park, London, where we brought up our three children. For a hobby, I refurbish old steel bicycles from the 1950s and 60s, which I ride around on - rather gingerly, for fear of crashing their clunky old gears or taxing their rudimentary brakes. The Jack Taylor racing bike that features in 'Say a Little Prayer' is one I own, and is just as smooth and sprightly as described.

I have three things in common with my hero, James Palatine: we are both very tall; we both practise t'ai chi; and we both went to grim Catholic boarding schools.

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