I’ve read many of Chris Ryans earlier books and I’ve always enjoyed them, whilst undeniably similar to the Andy McNab offerings there has always been something that little bit different about them, slightly less formulaic. Killing For The Company is his latest book and in my opinion Ryan firmly steps up his work a complete notch with this book, it is so much better than all the predecessors with a clear story line, a manageable cast of characters (with some of the usual clichés) and some imaginative twists with a very tongue in cheek political angle.
The story line starts off with a small SF team tasked to capture a war criminal from the Balkans. What starts out to be a straight forward task for the team descends into a cluster leaving the main character severely injured his best friend lucky to be alive.
Time fast forwards and the main character is now invalided out of the Regiment and earning a living as a security contractor whilst his friend remains in the Regiment. It is in this role the main character accidentally stumbles across some odd information and establishes some uncomfortable truths about the imminent Allied operation in Iraq. His friend is still in the thick of it and tasked to evacuate an Iraqi political figure in the run up to the Gulf War, uncovers some odd facts. From here the story starts proper and unfolds into a cleverly executed tale which does require a certain leap of faith at times but this is a work of fiction and it does entertain without being too over the top and certainly kept me engrossed.
The book features some clever and barely disguised gibes at the Gulf War 2 controversy surrounding Dr Kelly – in this book the UK establishment baulks at carrying out such acts but has no qualms about contracting out such deeds to Mossad in return for favours abroad – you have to wonder.
Perhaps for me the best parts were the ingenious twists and the wholly unexpected demise of 2 of the characters, which made the final twist all the more unexpected if not a little sad. This is a significantly better offering than the norm and one which could make a really good movie or TV adaptation.
Most definitely one for the Christmas lists and 4½ tattie heeds from me!