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The Black Fox
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Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission. She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin's mind that the CIA want destroyed.
As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe's former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin's secret will shut. Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong, they both die. If she is right, she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination!
An edgy and literate thriller, The Black Fox is book 3 in the Gavin Shawlens series from Gordon Bickerstaff. Ably managing to sidestep the pitfalls of overly stylized thrillers, he brings originality to the genre with a clever plot composition which retains a gritty feel throughout. Presenting readers with an intriguing primary mystery there’s a more complex series of events which engender broad appeal as the pace gathers momentum. With plot devices flying thick and fast, readers are sucked into an inescapably intense rush to the truth with Zoe and Gavin making a striking pair. As characters, both are well rounded and provided with plausible back stories which feel far from generic with Bickerstaff capturing the unsung hero qualities of Zoe remarkably well. Perhaps most notable though is Bickerstaff’s dissension of predictability. It keeps readers on tenterhooks, which is where they should be, whilst the shadowy world he creates delivers an immersive and authentic feel which quickly ensnares the imagination.
Altogether, a highly entertaining and gripping read, The Black Fox makes for powerful thriller that will be lapped up by fans of this popular genre. It is highly recommended.
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