Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Book review : Nothing Short of Dying - Erik Storey

Clyde Barr could be described as a bad boy turned good. He's fresh out of prison, with a dream of living a tranquil life in the back of beyond in the Yukon, putting his murky past behind him. Unfortunately he's also a bit of a shit-magnet (if you'll excuse my French - I failed to find a suitable synonym without profanity !) so his dreams of having a peaceful life have next to no chance of coming true.

He's killed more people than the world's most prolific serial killer but only the bad guys, whether from his own personal life or the nameless, faceless villains that he disposed of, fighting as a mercenary in Third World countries or hunting down illegal poachers in Africa. He wants to turn his back on the violence and killing but a phonecall from his sister, asking for help, drags him back into the criminal underworld that he desperately wanted to escape. If Clyde has one Achilles heel, it's being totally incapable of refusing to help the underdogs in life. 

He soon finds himself caught up in a terrifying cat-and-mouse game, trying to outsmart the local thugs, a drug-lord and the FBI, just so that he can bring his sister back home safe and sound. Although Clyde often seems invincible, he does get hurt, both physically and mentally, and some of the key characters get killed off, adding a dose of realism that this kind of fiction sometimes lacks.

It's a fast-paced and adrenaline-packed read that will appeal to both sexes (men will probably want to identify with him and women will undoubtedly swoon over him !) and I couldn't put it down. I'd love to see Clyde brought to the big screen (I wonder who'd play him though) and I am delighted to see that this is the first in a series so we'll be seeing lots more of him. He's the perfect antihero, whose character is full of paradoxes - he's strong but vulnerable, kind-hearted but ruthless - so there is still plenty of scope for getting to know the ins and outs of his psyche and his personal story.

The writing is very atmospheric and convincing so I wasn't surprised to learn that author Erik Storey lives deep in the rugged badlands of Western Colorado. He grew up in the wilderness, hunting deer and driving cattle, working as a wilderness guide, dogsled musher, and ranch hand, and his books are alive with hard-earned authenticity. Apparently he spent his last $9 mailing the manuscript to Darley Anderson, agent to the likes of Lee Child, Chris Carter and Martina Cole !

I'll definitely be looking out for the next installment when it's published because I think Clyde has a lot more adventures (and misadventures) left in him !

star rating : 5/5

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (25 Aug. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471146839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471146831
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm

Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.


  1. Definitely one for me thankyou for the great review

  2. Definitely one for me thankyou for the great review