Even by Andrew Grant
Dude. DUUUUUUDE. I follow Janet Reid's blog and when she suggested this one I threw it on my library queue thinking it would be a nice Bourne/Bond/Ryan* type romp. It was all that I wanted it to be...and more.
It opens with a dead body, so you know I was totally hooked at that point. All in. Also, the main character is British (in my head he sounds like Pierce Brosnan) and Grant took his time subtly developing the character and the plot. It's not only smartly written, but he managed to make me feel smart just reading it. And the fight scenes were amazing. Jason Bourne makes me want to start running; David Trevellyan makes me want to take up mixed martial arts.
It's your basic whodunnit/mistaken identity/special ops-meets-FBI-meets-NYPD in a turf war/action thriller with a dash of Deranged Lunatic** and Evil Plot To Take Over The World thrown in for good measure. The plot bobs and weaves and twists (but not too much and not in any way that I put together until the character did) and dumps you out the way a good roller coaster does: vaguely disoriented and needing a minute to digest what just happened and then gunning for more.
This is Grant's debut novel. He's clearly been honing his craft for a while because: DUDE. That's how good it is. I keep saying Dude.
It's not a quick read but it's WORTH IT. Read it with a beer, but not too many beers or you'll get confused. If it weren't so darn heavy I'd say take it on the plane, but I'm certain that Men everywhere won't be shy about being seen reading it.
So good. It's so good. Note that I tagged it "Wish I were smart enough to have written this." High Praise.
Oh, but I'm going to throw a little spoilery warning down there because I feel it may be necessary. Look for these: **
Read it before it becomes a movie. Starring a 30-something hot British guy.
* Jason Bourne, James Bond, Jack Ryan. Although, if you don't know who those guys are - this might not be your genre.
The action scenes are well-choreographed and fun to read. But there's a scene with a deranged lunatic involving a scalpel and some poor guy's man-parts. No one will think less of you if you skim/skip those pages. I didn't, but I don't have man-parts so I wasn't feeling it like some of you might.