I finally finished this book. Maybe that’s harsh, but it took me over two weeks to get through, despite it seeming like an easy read and a decent story.
The End Game by Raymond Khoury is the fifth installment in his The Last Templar series of crime novels. I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways, so I can’t say I have read any of the other books in the series, however I was reassured by other reviews that this wouldn’t be a problem. They were right. The story was easy to follow, and there were only two or three mentions to things from previous books that confused me slightly.
The series follows FBI agent Sean Reilly, who in this installment, uncovers truths about secret CIA operations relating to his father. While investigating, he witnesses a murder for which he becomes the main suspect and is forced to go on the run.
I’m struggling with this review, because I can’t really put my finger on why this book took me so long to get through. I really enjoyed the first 100 pages or so, but then it started to drag and I found myself bored after reading about 20 pages at a time. I think the main problem was the lack of twists and turns. Everything just happened and it really lacked suspense. I trusted in the characters too much and the events just played out one after the other. I really expected on of the characters to be undercover, perhaps someone he trusted who isn’t what they say they are. This didn’t happen. It was all far too happily ever after to be up there in the ranks of a good thriller.
Having said that, the characters were compelling and the story should have been a really good one. It really made you wonder how the CIA and FBI actually operate, as well as how criminals can use the internet to find out just about anything about anybody. The writing was also good, in that it covered a quite complicated subject matter in language that was easy to understand. Another author could have very easily used reams of technical jargon and therefore made this book unreadable for someone like me, who has little experience of anything like that.
I started to think that maybe it was just me not being in the right frame of mind for reading, but I’ve started a new book and I’m racing through it at my normal pace, so that clearly isn’t the issue. It just wasn’t gripping, or suspenseful, or even thrilling enough to be called a thriller! Ok, maybe that is harsh, but it was definitely missing something.
Never mind how long it’s taken me to read the book, it’s taken me four days to write this (rather short) review! I still don’t know how I feel, and am still confused by my feelings for this book. I’m not even sure how I’m going to rate it. Probably somewhere between 6/10 and 7/10. The latter seems too high, but the former seems too harsh. Rather than ‘Something Missing’, it’s more like ‘A lot missing but I still enjoyed it’. I certainly didn’t hate it, but it hasn’t persuaded me to go back and read the first four in the series, or even to read another Raymond Khoury novel. If someone were to put one in front of me, I’d probably give it a go, but I certainly wouldn’t buy one.
7/10 Something Missing