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The Siege

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The Revd Richard Lamey is the Rector of St Paul’s, Wokingham, and Area Dean of Sonning, in the diocese of Oxford. THE SIEGE is hard to forget. It is not perfect, but it is exceptional. Sutherland sometimes signposts more than necessary, and the marketing is misleading — the cover and precis suggest something high-octane and bloody, whereas the reality is a nuanced, thoughtful, and theological book. Instead of something dry and mechanistic, John Sutherland has crafted a book which wears his Christian values of courage and services on its sleeve.

John Sutherland – ‘The Siege’ review - Entertainment Focus John Sutherland – ‘The Siege’ review - Entertainment Focus

So impressed by this debut thriller from the author of Blue. Sutherland is a former police officer who knows the criminal world inside out. I inhaled The Siege…and strongly recommend it.” (Charles Cumming) From that point on a full-blown hostage situation ensues, calling for the expert involvement of Alex Lewis, an experienced police hostage negotiator. As the threat to life intensifies, Alex finds himself not only under pressure to save the hostages, but also having to struggle with his own demons, after a recent incident he had been called to unfortunately ended in the death of the perpetrator. Conveys with compassion and understanding the unvarnished reality of police work today * THE TIMES *The negotiator played a second fiddle for me compared to Grace although was a big part of the story Each of the characters is introduced, and their individual stories are expanded on throughout the book. As a reader, it is great to see into the minds and lives of people in situations and also into their beliefs. This does have race and immigration at its core, but there is something that is much deeper to this story. It is a story of manipulation and of false or fake news, and how easy it is for people to believe in unsubstantiated facts.

The Siege | John Sutherland | 9781398707566 | NetGalley The Siege | John Sutherland | 9781398707566 | NetGalley

One minor criticism is that the title of the novel isn’t the most inspiring. Nine Lives may have been a more interesting title than The Siege! Also I felt we didn’t really get to know Alan, Jean and Helen. The plot is straightforward, a hostage situation covered from the start to the finish with no deviation, so it remains focussed throughout. The pacing is steady as befits a real-life situation, only taking on a degree of urgency as matters come to a head. The dialogue itself is on the whole low key as befits people trying to control a situation, though there are some standout exchanges between Grace and Lee which cut the heart of the matter.You know you’re in the presence of an expert when you read The Siege. A gripping debut novel.” (Jeffrey Archer) Alex Lewis is called to the scene where the hostages are held and makes a base for himself and his team in a nearby local house. As a senior hostage negotiator it is Alex’s job to try and get through to Lee Connor and convince him to let everyone go; however things are not as easy for Alex with a complex task on his hands at the present and being haunted by a previous case that hadn’t gone to plan will Alex be able to talk Connor round? This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s written in the POV of the three main characters, Alex, Connor and Grace. The story flows well between the characters, and it’s easy to follow what is going on. The plot was very well thought out, and the characters were very relatable, and you felt genuine empathy for all three in different ways. There were multiple layers to each character, and as the story progresses you learn more about them and how different their lives are. The conclusion comes together beautifully in the end, leaving no loose ends and unanswered questions. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I would definitely recommend it. I found it fascinating to see what goes on in a situation like this, and all the different parts that people play, as well as seeing it from 3 different viewpoints.

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