Never Say Sorry is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller, bringing together the cut-throat worlds of financial trading, journalism and pharmaceutical research. The starting point is an old man all set to lift the lid on a 20-year-old scandal involving one of the big pharamaceutical companies quashing news of a successful natural cancer cure. To the non-initiated (and non financially involved), finding a cure for cancer would necessarily be a good thing, but to those who make a business out of selling chemotherapy and drugs designed to alleviate the symptoms, they would stand to lose a lot of money. Especially if the cure was from a natural source that couldn't be patented or ethically harvested because it's only available in the protected Amazonian rainforest.
This is the cynical, ruthless world that feisty, loud-mouthed journalist Claudia and debt-riddled public-schoolboy-turned-corporate financier Hugo find themselves thrown into following a chance encounter. They say that opposites attract and when Claudia and Hugo first meet at a speed-dating event, sparks fly - and continue to fly every time they get together - but they are nevertheless drawn to each other, especially as they realise someone - quite possibly the same person who bumped off the old man who first alerted them to the scandal - is out to get both of them.
The deeper they dig, the deeper they get themselves in hot water and the full scale of the corruption is revealed. It's an interesting plotline and the book is full of action and twists and turns. I did find it hard keeping tabs on who was who - all the corporate bankers and insider traders tended to blend into one which makes it a bit confusing - and the "bad guys" are a bit too one-dimensional.
The two main characters are a bit too caricatural for my liking too. Claudia has a chip on her shoulder the size of Ayers Rock and is just too gobby for her own good and Hugo is totally hopeless, both when it comes to looking after his finances and rescuing damsels in distress.
But ultimately it's an enjoyable read. The will-they-won't-they romance aspect may annoy hardboiled crime fiction/thriller fans who may think it detracts from the central plotline (and ultimately doesn't really go anywhere) but it does add some interesting character dynamics. I'd actually be interested to see the unlikely duo reappear in a future novel.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £9.99
Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.
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