Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Everything to Lose’ by Gordon Bickerstaff, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate and help kick off this tour in this tour, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
Scientists claim their new sports drug will boost the performance of every athlete in the world. The Lambeth Group send scientist, Gavin Shawlens, to investigate the claim.
The product is stolen, top athletes disappear, and the research team are unaware that their product has a dangerous side effect. Gavin must stop the sports drug launch before more people die.
When Gavin disappears – Zoe Tampsin searches frantically to find him before he becomes the next victim.
As if Zoe hasn’t got enough on her plate. Past events in Gavin’s life catch up with him. A powerful US general decides that Gavin must die to prevent exposure of a 60-year old secret capable of world-changing and power-shifting events.
The chase is on…
I actually read ‘Everything to Lose’ twice before writing this review. The first time I came to this book, the second in the series, without having read book one and it does very well as a standalone, but with enough threads tied to ‘Deadly Secrets’ as to rouse my interest. So, I went back and read ‘Deadly Secrets’ (I will post the review on Goodreads later this week), and then reread ‘Everything to Lose’, fundamentally it was the same reinforcing its strength as a standalone. But I enjoyed having that fuller understanding of past events and Gavin’s character, and I would highly recommend reading both books because of this.
It was refreshing to read a science-based thriller, which is something I haven’t come across very often and helped ground the story very much in reality because it was a plausible concept executed brilliantly. A fascinating blend of past and present, was just the first step in a gripping read that had its own thrilling, complex plot, nestled within the web of the larger, overarching plot, which combined with that ending leaves you needing more.
The pacing was fantastic, a fast-paced rollercoaster than knew just when to slow for maximum impact and thrill, and both times it was impossible to put this book down once I’d started it. As with all thrillers, there was some violence, but nothing that felt excessive or didn’t propel the narrative forward, and the action was well done and brought the pieces together perfectly. In some places, the brisk almost journalistic writing which helped keep the pace moving, and served the narrative well, for the most part, felt a little too brief and fragmented, and could perhaps have been slowed and softened in places, but this is a minor complaint from a book that I couldn’t put down.
In terms of characters, I enjoyed Gavin – the fact that he is a Scientist rather than a detective or a more traditional main character for a thriller making him stand out from the beginning. But I liked how his development was done, and how he was shaped by past events. Both emotionally and in terms of the choices laid before him, as it gave a sense of realism and consequence to his actions and his character. Zoe was also a fantastic character, and everything I look for in a female character, strong without being cold with it, and it was great to see some of her life beyond her work.
About the Author:
I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. I studied biochemistry, and I’ve worked in several Scottish universities where I did research on enzymes, and taught biochemistry. After thirty years of teaching and research I retired my academic pen, and took of a mightier fiction pen.
I live in central Scotland with my wife and we enjoy reading, writing, and walking in the hills.
The Lambeth Group books follow the secret government investigations of agent Zoe Tampsin. A strong female protagonist with courage, determination, and guile. She is assisted by specialist consultant, Gavin Shawlens.
Everything to Lose (Gavin Shawlen #2) -Gordon Bickerstaff (Published in paperback and digital formats on 29th January 2015) – **** (4/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Or if you have any recommendations for similar books, please shoot them my way.