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Black, Sean - 'Deadlock'
Paperback: 432 pages (May 2011) Publisher: Corgi ISBN: 0552162558

This story is set in the United States and ex-military bodyguard Ryan Lock is hired by an Assistant US Attorney to protect a white supremacist prison gang boss who has decided to give state evidence against his own gang. The only problem is that the white supremacist prison gang boss, who is named Frank "Reaper" Hays, is serving time in a huge maximum security prison in California. Lock has to share his cell with him and he has to pretend to be another prisoner!! Reaper, who had previously been in solitary confinement now wants to serve his time outside with the general prison population. Of course that makes Lock's job even harder as there are many white supremacists gang members who have plenty to fear if Reaper makes it to court to give his evidence, and attempts are made on his life.

Lock has an associate, "Ty", who, as he is black and as there is strict ethnic separation kept in this American prison, has to remain with other black prisoners who have no love of white supremacists and will do anything to attack them physically if they can avoid the guards seeing them. Lock has to remain, undercover, protecting Reaper for five whole days until arrangements to take him out under incredible security are in place. The black prisoners attack the white supremacist prison gang and unfortunately Ty gets hurt because so few of the guards are aware he is not a bona fide prisoner and he is removed to hospital and Lock is alone. When the week is up Reaper and Lock are taken amid intense security out of the prison and board a helicopter.

The story starts to get more intense and I just could not put it down but I do not think I should add more to my description of what happens next as it may spoil your enjoyment of this very exciting plot driven story. Although the author is from Glasgow, Scotland, he spent a lot of time in the USA and of course the story is based there but unlike a lot of authors who write for the American market he seems to have kept to British English rather than using American English. I found the story immensely gripping and fast moving and the pages just shot by. It is very worthwhile reading and it was very entertaining. The book reminded me of the early titles of Tom Clancy and Lee Child but he writes with an authority that only come from rigorous research and I see that to get background for this novel he "did time" at California's Pelican Bay Supermax Prison, home to 3500 of some of America's most violent and aggressive inmates. Prisoners are sent there because, generally they are serving life without parole for multiple homicides and they are too disruptive to remain in other California gaols. All the different races tend to separate among ethnic lines in gangs and they do not mix and the guards use live ammunition and fire one warning shot if trouble breaks and then fire to wound or kill.

I recommend that you read DEADLOCK!!

Read another review of DEADLOCK.

Terry Halligan, England
August 2011

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 22/08/2011 16:32