Books: Thrillers

By Iain Duffy

Title: Devil's Gate

Author: Clive Cussler and Graham Brown,

Publisher: Michael Joseph Publishing, $45

Kurt Austin and the gang from NUMA are back, and their undercover task is to solve the mystery of the graveyard of ships found off the coast of Sierra Leone.

This is your usual Cussler novel, starting with a history lesson and then bringing in the team to solve the mystery. Good characterisation and a plausible plot. As always, an entertaining read. Tom Clancy will be pleased.

Title: Deadlock

Author: Sean Black

Publisher: Random House, $40

Super-intelligent and brutally violent, Frank "Reaper" Hays is a leading member of America's most powerful white supremacist prison gang. Ex-military bodyguard Ryan Lock has been hired to protect him. His mission is to keep Reaper alive for a week until he can be brought to trial.

But Lock soon realises that he faces the toughest assignment of his career - to survive himself ...

Title: An Evil Eye

Author: Jason Goodwin

Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $37

When the body of a Russian agent is found down a monastery well, Yashim knows exactly who to blame - Fevzi Ahmet Pasha, commander of the Ottoman fleet. Years ago, when Yashim first entered the sultan's service, Fevzi Ahmet was his mentor.

Ruthless, cruel and - in Yashim's eyes - ultimately ineffective, he is the only man who makes him afraid. And now Yashim must confront the secret that Fevzi Pasha has been keeping all these years, a secret whose roots lie deep in the tortured atmosphere of the sultan's harem, where normal rules are suspended and women can simply disappear.

Once again, Yashim and his friends encounter treachery and politics, played out against the backdrop of 1840s Istanbul.

Author Goodwin studied Byzantine history at Cambridge and this, together with his ability to write well, has resulted in well-constructed thrillers set in an era and area not normally read about. As far as detectives are concerned, Yashim is the cat's pyjamas.

Title: Pain of Death

Author: Adam Creed

Publisher: Faber and Faber, $28

Detective inspector Staffe is the main protagonist in Creed's rather tough and tortuous novels. Tough in the sense that one has to have a strong stomach to accept the storyline.

This is the third Staffe story, and this time abandoned babies are being found beneath London streets. As with the other novels, despite the rather awful storyline, it's a great thriller.

- Hamilton News

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