The Serpent's Head: Revenge - Julian MalinsThe Serpent’s Head: Revenge
Julian Malins

What would happen in a terrorist attack resulted in the death of the loved one of someone who could take revenge?

Set in the near future, The Serpent’s Head is the story of a terrorist bomb destroying one of the City of London’s most iconic buildings and killing the children of parents who decide to extract a dramatic and world changing justice.

Set mainly in China, England, Nigeria, Syria and Saudi Arabia, the plots and sub plots weave the reader around the world, as the flames of a general war between Christianity and Islam ignite in West Africa and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia collapses into chaos. The novel will be the first of several in which the possible future course of the struggle between China, Islam and the West is traced.

The novel is written by Julian Malins, who is a British barrister with a worldwide practice in banking, fraud and money laundering cases especially in the Middle East and the Caribbean. He has had many articles published in legal journals but The Serpent’s Head is his first novel and is packed with insider information and personal knowledge and experience.

I would be the first to admit that the political thriller section of the library isn’t one which I frequent. However, I was away for a weekend and had this loaded on my Kindle, which prompted me to read. After a slow start, I found that I was having difficulty putting the book down.

Malins writes about terrorist attacks on a Britain which could so very easily be today’s, and I found his writing style kept me gripped: “They were young. They were happy. They had five days to live.”

When the daughter and son of two wealthy individuals are collatoral damage in a terrorist attack on London, their grief-stricken parents use their power and power influence to react to these killings. I found both parent characters and their actions very interesting and genuinely wonder about the impact similar figures could have on our society in the present day. This was a train of thought I kept going back to through the book and I found the uncovering of some of the actions of highly powerful political figures particularly poignant.

The pace of the book certainly steps up in the second half, as the first stages of the revenge plan are put into action. The plot really builds up to the end and Malins does well to keep suspense; definitely bringing the ‘thriller’ to the political thriller genre. My only criticism, genuinely, is to make the reader wait so long for the next book, as the tense build up to the abrupt ending left me a little frustrated. Surely it won’t be long until the sequel..

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