I have been putting this off for around a year now. Trying hard to delay the inevitable. In spite of having both book and audio in my possession I couldn’t bring myself to listen to/read them. Not because I was afraid it the book wasn’t going to be any good, far from it, merely because, as it stands, this is the last book in the Dan Taylor series and I didn’t want it to end. 😦 But I did it. Bit the bullet (plenty of those in this book) and I listened …
Before I tell you what I thought, let’s see what it’s all about.
About the Book
Dan Taylor is trying to keep a low profile when an old friend contacts the Energy Protection Group seeking his help.
The man’s daughter is alone in sub-Saharan Africa, and her life is in grave danger.
Thrust back into active duty, Dan soon realises that getting Anna to safety is only half his problem. The forensic accountant holds the key to preventing Western Sahara descending into chaos, and exposing the puppet masters behind a coup d’état.
With a group of militants financed by a regime intent on acquiring mineral assets in the conflict-torn country in pursuit and willing to do anything to stop him, Dan must draw on old survival skills and luck to make sure Anna and the evidence she has in her possession reaches safety.
Behind the wire lies a secret – a secret that people will kill to protect…
First of all, I need to talk about the audio. And audio book, even with a great story to back it up can be made or indeed broken, by the quality and talent of the narrator. Some books work well with just one voice, others may well lead to slightly awkward moments which make you cringe. Some narrators, the good ones, just get the text, understand the characters and bring them totally to life, so much so that you forget you are listening to a book. Rachel Amphlett has got very lucky as Craig Beck is most definitely one of the good ones. If you don’t believe me, have a listen. You won’t be disappointed.
You also won’t be disappointed by the book. Oh no siree. If you love a good thriller and are looking for a series to sink your teeth into, then, assuming you aren’t already in love with Dan Taylor, go out and pick this set of books up. I personally love a good thriller and ‘found’ Dan Taylor after hearing Rachel on a panel at CrimeFest a couple of years ago. I haven’t looked back since.
Behind the wire is book four in the series – currently the last but I’m hoping if I drop enough hints this could still change. All of the action in the books centres around environmental themes, corruption and power and this is no different. They say data is the new oil but sometimes, actual oil, minerals, and literal ‘power’ power is the most lucrative of all. In this latest instalment our hero, Dan Taylor, is tasked with finding the daughter of his friend and former mentor, and bringing her safely home. This is now easy task as Anna holds some data which certain enemies would do anything to recover. It is hard to know who, if anyone to trust, or to see how either of them can escape with their lives intact.
What I have loved about this series is the perfect blend of action, compelling story telling and the gradual building of tension which fires off in short bursts as Dan (often) finds himself under attack. Rachel Amphlett manages the pace brilliantly, providing the reader with high drama as well as quieter moments of reflection, but all the time steering us along on the ride of a lifetime. And this ride – oh my word – it’s certainly edge of the seat stuff. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now and stopped listening to these book as I am driving. They are literally stomach clenching, nail biting tales which get the mind whirring. I love them.
Now Dan is a character I have always liked, ever since book one. Despite old wounds, mental and physical, which haunt him daily, this is a man who will stop at nothing to do the right thing and protect those he loves. He is intelligent, sharp, determined and spot on in a crisis. He knows the right moves, can outwit the villains and still, especially in his relationship with his friend and former colleague, Mitch, still manages to make me chuckle. Most of the action centres around Dan and Anna and there is a strong chemistry here which is certainly capable of carrying the book, but fans of my second favourite action hero will be glad to hear he makes a cameo in this book too. Wouldn’t be the same without him.
Despite all the heart thumping action, one of the most poignant scenes from this book came right at the end. I don’t want to say much about it, you need to read for yourselves, but hats off to Rachel Amphlett for that particular scene. It highlights Dan’s humanity, that, in spite of all he has been put through, he is a man of true honour and a man of his word. Kind of makes you love him even more.
So … to sum up: Action? Oh yes, bucket loads. The heart thumping, nail biting, adrenalin pumping kind. Big tick. Fabulous characters? Goes without saying that I am a huge fan of Mr Taylor and co. Bad guys to curse and good guys to root for. Big ass tick there too. Good sense of place? Absolutely. I could almost feel the oppressive heat Dan and Anna were battling, feel the pangs of thirst as they struggled across the desert in search of sanctuary. Double tick. Compelling storyline? Totally. Four books in and the quality never falters. Just when you think it can’t get better … it does. Tick. Absolute inconsolable heartbreak that (hopefully only for now) it’s all over? Yep. Boo hiss. Big tick for all the wrong reasons 😦
Basically, it’s just a bloody good book and an excellent audio. If you like action then go buy. Go buy now.
My thanks to author Rachel Amphlett for providing a copy of the audiobook. If you would like to read the book for yourself it is available at the following sites:
About the author
Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.
She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Angela Marsons, Robert Bryndza, Ken Follett, and Stuart MacBride.
She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.
Her novels are available in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats from worldwide retailers including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play.
A keen traveller, Rachel holds both EU and Australian passports and can usually be found plotting her next trip two years in advance!