Hunting Gabi

Hunting Gabi

Phillip Harben
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
The author opens this book with a very short prologue providing a detailed description of Gabriella Ruiz, a pop star and one of the main characters, who has done a lot with her life of twenty seven years. Unfortunately she has been kidnapped and is now to be murdered. The first chapter, however, looks at the situation several months earlier where Tom Walker is being persuaded by his best friend Paul Jones, better known as Taff, to take on a celebrity bodyguard job. Tom is not keen because he has become fed up with providing security for celebrities because he had a somewhat violent argument with one and is now not finding it easy to get such work. A major part of that sort of problem is the fact that such altercations soon become known to the relatively small group in such a community formed mainly of those who have served as special forces.

When Tom goes to meet the celebrity he suddenly finds he now has to head the security detail because Taff is needed elsewhere at very short notice. However he soon gets on quite well with everybody and is shown a photo of Javier Calderon, a former manager/boyfriend, who is deemed to be a real threat against Gabi. During his first meeting with his security team he realises there might be a problem and acts accordingly resulting in his having to contact Taff in order to have two more people allocated to his team. Tom also finds he has something of a problem because he has formed a romantic attachment, something which should not have happened.

The tour gets under way in London but in Paris he has to deal with an attack by a man who intends to beat up Gabi in her room and it is not long, with the aid of the French police, that the attacker is identified as a jihadist who is known to have spent time in Al-Qaeda training and is wanted by Interpol.

Back in London for the final venue of the tour, Javier manages to have Gabi kidnapped, intending to have her ransomed for a large sum of money which he reckons is his by rights. However, he does not realise he is merely a tool for one Mohammad who has other ideas and intends to use Gabi to promote his religion in a macabre way. It soon becomes clear that both of them have different ideas as to how the outcome is to be played.

Tom Walker embarks on a violent chase including a confrontation with the Metropolitan police as he tries to track down Gabi and the kidnappers all of which culminates in a somewhat vicious ending.

The book moves on quickly from one incident to the next but is broken up rather well with insights into the background of each of the major characters thus preventing it from being a series of violent scenes. The story incorporates most of the necessary components for a modern fictional account with a framework into which is weaved the media, religion, terrorism, violence and romance. If there is one complaint it is that this story, like so many others, seems to assume that everybody who served in any form of special forces is at the peak of perfection even though they make mistakes. Having said that it is worth reading for those who like fast moving situations in a modern setting.

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