Saturday, April 08, 2006

James Twining, "The Black Sun" (Harper Collins)

Sequel to The Double Eagle, The Black Sun is a fine sophomore novel from a truly talented British author.

James Twining has managed to write a twisting tale of historical intrigue and action, while not falling foul to the cliches and pot-holes that affect Dan Brown. There's no dubious religious connotations or huge leaps into left field to help his arguments and premises. True, he's clearly made some of the background up, but then that's why this book is found in the "Fiction" section of Waterstone's...

Delving into the myths and oddities of the Nazi SS, the Black Sun is another tale starring Tom Kirk, The Double Eagle's art-thief-cum-action-hero that we all fell in love with last time around. This time, Tom is thrown into a dangerous quest after a number of high-profile thefts of art and a coding machine. Not to mention the arm thieves took from a concentration camp survivor...

Twining's style is so fluent and flowing that it is impossible to put this book down. Drawing us through the story with his prose and premises, the story rattles along at a fair clip, never pausing for long enough to catch our breath before a new twist is revealed. From London to St Petersburg, the action is varied and exciting, utilising all the best thriller devices, yet never coming across as tired, cliched or plagiaristic. Twining has his own voice, but one that sounds familiar and comfortable.

Fluid and eloquent, The Black Sun is a delight to read. One of this year's must-have thrillers.

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