Book Review – Cold Blood

by Andy McNab (Bantam Press) ISBN: 9780593073810

Cold Blood is the latest of this English author’s action thrillers featuring Nick Stone an ex-SAS soldier working for British Intelligence in operations which would be firmly denied by British Intelligence should they ever be discovered.

Andy McNab is the penname of Steven Billy Mitchell himself a decorated former Special Air Service sergeant. In addition to his military career Mitchell/McNab is a prolific novelist drawing on his own experience in battle zones to fill the pages of his many books.

Cold Blood takes us to Svalbard, a Group of Norwegian islands between Norway’s mainland and the North Pole. Its rugged icy surrounds are home to polar bears, reindeer and one of the world’s most northerly human populations. Barentsburg, where plenty of the action takes place is the second largest town in the snow covered islands with its small population of mainly Russians and Ukrainians. It gives way to a Russian Ice camp and finally a Russian submarine.

Nick Stone, himself recovering from the tragic loss of his wife and son is asked to protect five ex-servicemen, badly wounded in Afghanistan, on their trek to the North Pole, a trek on which polar bears offer the least danger.

Littered with expletives which lend little to the plot, the story has in the initial stages the potential to turn into a gripping fast moving story but this peters out as the plot and characters become complicated and difficult to follow.

The book is however written in a relaxed style and apart from trying to sort out who’s who, whilst I wouldn’t say it is good, I wouldn’t totally condemn it.

Jane Evans

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