State of Terror – a review

The predator was out there. Somewhere. Hiding in a vast silence.”

I really enjoyed this book and found it difficult to put down. The plot is complicated and the number of characters is high so there are a lot of people to keep track of but it is a great political thriller.

The book is set soon after the Democrats have won the latest election and the newly elected president makes a surprise choice for his Secretary of State, Ellen Adams, who runs a media empire. Why is it surprising? Because apparently the two hate each other. The president had an agenda with this appointment but didn’t expect to be faced with an international terrorist incident which would force him to work with his Sec of State.

A bomb goes off in the centre of London, quickly followed by another in Germany. A lowly foreign service  officer receives a strange text message that she realises might be a warning but she can’t get anyone to listen to her. As the president and Ellen are forced to work together, we find out why they hate each other so much.

The book spans Europe, Asia and the Middle East as Ellen tries to deal with the crisis and avert a possible catastrophic incident on American soil. The story is fast paced and you have to concentrate to keep track of the different strands but I found it an engrossing read. I loved the way that the initially completely unrelated strands and characters gradually all come together.  

The plot is all too believable although I was a bit unconvinced by the ending. However, there are signposts for this right from the start. I just missed them. Louise Penny’s influence is clear in the way some of the characters think and act and there are some lovely references to her Gamache series including a guest appearance by the man himself.

I suspect that fans of Donald Trump probably won’t enjoy the book as much though as the out-going president is obviously modelled upon him and he doesn’t come out of it at all well.

This is a great read for any lover of political thrillers such as Michael Dobbs House of Cards.


Sundays in bed with ………. One by One

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed).

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

I love this book so far. It’s a real page turner. The story is told in alternate chapters by Erin, one of the two chalet hosts and Liz, one of the guests who doesn’t seem to fit in. It’s told in the first person through out the book so you never get the whole picture which adds to the atmosphere. The descriptions of the mountains and the snow are brilliant and really add to the claustrophic feel of the book.

I can’t wait to see how this one ends.