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Cain, Tom - 'The Survivor'
Paperback: 544 pages (Jan. 2009) Publisher: Corgi Books ISBN: 0552155535

Samuel Carver is in an expensive Swiss clinic, mentally gaga following torture by criminals, as described in the author's excellent previous novel, THE ACCIDENT MAN.

Carver's Russian girlfriend, Alix, is working as a nightclub waitress and using as much of her salary as she can, to pay the bills of the clinic. She is also selling off most of the furnishings from Carver's apartment to pay the bills as well. The treatment is very costly and the bills are mounting up.

Alix, in her former life, was a Russian secret agent and she accidentally meets her former boss in the night club she works at and is persuaded to return to her former life in order to pay for the health bills of Carver. As soon as Alix ceases to visit him in the clinic, something snaps in Carver and he starts to recover his senses. Clinic staff, loyal to the Russians, alert them to Carver's recovery and they send an assassin to finish him off, but he fortunately escapes.

Carver has a friend in Geneva, who hides him and spirits him out of the country to Norway. Here he trains his atrophied body to perfect physical fitness over a period of a month.

In another strand to the story a retired US General plots to obtain a suitcase size nuclear device. The Russians, have about 120 in various locations around the world and a list of where they are is held in a safe place. British MI6, arrange for Carver to steal the list. In addition, a mad, born again Christian extremist, who hails from the 'bible belt' of the USA and is a billionaire with a terminal illness to boot, is added to the plot. All of these plot-lines come together in an explosive finish.

Tom Cain writes a very fast action packed thriller which you don't want to put down until it is finished. The formula he uses is perfect for many more such thrillers, written in a similar vein as that used by other successful authors such as Frederick Forsyth, Gerald Seymour and Stephen Leather. I look forward to his future books.

The US edition of this book is entitled NO SURVIVORS

Read another review of THE SURVIVOR.

Terry Halligan, England
April 2009

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 25/04/2009 22:55