I’m a big fan of Simon Kernick. He writes fast paced thrillers, which generally start off at a breakneck speed and don’t let up until the high-octane conclusion. The Final Minute pretty much sticks to this winning formula – a man is in a room with a dead woman covered in blood, he can’t remember what happened but is pretty sure that he killed her. Without giving away any spoilers, cue lots of violence, chases and thrills.
One criticism I have heard of Simon Kernick is that all too often his books are forgettable; that a few days after you’ve put them down you’re struggling to recall what happened. Some consider him the archetypal airport novelist, a writer whose work will help a plane journey speed by and no more. Personally I feel that a little harsh and though I have struggled to recall the details of some of his past offerings I did not find this a problem with the Final Minute. Perhaps that’s because there’s a little more depth to the backstory in this one, the conspiracy behind it all involving political machinations and hints of intelligence services.
Some of the characters are a little clichéd – there is a man and woman who are contract killers and the woman is, of course, stunningly beautiful. Why do female assassins always have to be femme fatales? But on the whole he avoids such pitfalls and the main characters were well rounded and felt like real people.
I read this book in just three sittings, it really does keep you wanting to turn the page to find out what is going to happen and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their thrills fast and furious.
I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.