The Sirius Crossing, by John Creed

Jack Valentine, an English agent, is sent to Ireland to find a corpse that's been hidden in the woods for thirty years, and to recover documents that are with it. But he soon finds that there are other forces who are not keen on him completing the mission, and his alliance with an IRA informer on the run doesn't ease the pressures he's facing...

The book opens with a riveting description of how a parachute drop went wrong and caused the death of the person who was carrying the sought for documents: from here on I was hooked. The whole thing turned out to be a cracking good tale: not so much for the plot (although it was good) as for the description of the action episodes. Several of these were in Jack's past, as he recollected events that led him to meet certain people etc., but they were all gripping - the episode where someone steps on a mine and realises that it will go off as soon as his foot is raised stays in my mind.

Some of the writing was a bit repetitive - we got bullets "stitching" through things on at least four occasions, and the romance sub-plot didn't add an awful lot, but the story was so good that these were no more than niggles.

It was also very well read by Sean Barrett, who had just the right air of weary resignation, as well as doing all the accents very convincingly.

I see that Creed has written another Jack Valentine book, "The Day of the Dead", and what do you know, it's available on audiobook by Sean Barrett too, so I'll have a go at getting that.

Completed : 19-May-2004 (audiobook)

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