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Chris High books reviewed

Terror’s Reach - Tom Bale

Hardcover: 360 pages
Publisher: Preface Publishing (3 Jun 2010)
Language English

ISBN-10: 1848090749
ISBN-13: 978-1848090743

Front cover of the book 'Terror's Reach' written by Tom Bale

Tom Bale’s Terror’s Reach could easily have crossed the line and become something of a trite, cliché riddled bore given that its premise is one that, in one way or another, has been attempted on so many occasions before.


However, thanks to the narrative prowess of the author, a plot that fairly rips along and a characters that are all as individual as they are intriguing, dull is the one thing that Terror’s Reach certainly is not.

A burning summer's day explodes into violence. A murderous gang targets the exclusive south coast island of Terror's Reach, home to rival business tycoons Robert Felton and Valentin Nasenko. The residents are facing annihilation, and only one man stands a chance of saving them. Four years ago, after an undercover police operation went disastrously wrong, CID officer Joe Clayton lost his career and his family. Forced to adopt a new identity, he drifted from place to place and ended up on the Reach, working as a bodyguard to Nasenko's wife, Cassie, and her children. Now he must draw upon all his experience and reserves of strength to keep them alive. But nothing is as it seems on Terror's Reach, and a long night of betrayal and murder leaves Joe fighting for his own survival.

If you’re looking for a James Bond kind of hero, then look elsewhere because Joe Clayton is not only riddled with faults and doubts, he knows them all and understands how to deal with them. This not only makes him a likeable character but also gives him a dimension that so many of his ilk lack.

Added to this are the others that make up the story, who are all as vulnerable as Joe yet mask it in such varying ways that the novel takes on a complete roundness that so many others cry out for.

There are no surprise endings to scenarios, no “sudden” reveals. What there are, however, are enough twists to keep the reader guessing until the end and a sense of place that drips with salt air.  

This is one hell of a read that will keep you flipping the pages until the wee small hours and make you want to stay by the pool just that extra bit longer whilst on holiday.





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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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