Friday 15 November 2019

Book review : The Last 10 Seconds - Simon Kernick

I have so many books still waiting to be read on my bookshelf that I'm desperately trying not to buy any more. Review copies are OK, but new books ? Nope, not happening ! Well, the last time I went to a charity shop, I spotted a copy of Simon Kernick's The Last 10 Seconds on the bookshelf and I just couldn't resist, despite all my good intentions. It was only 50p after all and it was helping a good cause, if nothing else. Well, I've just spent the last three nights reading it non stop so I have no regrets whatsoever !

The opening chapters are fairly confusing as there is so much going on that you have to try to get your head around. The book starts with a chapter labelled "Today 8.05am" and introduces two characters, Sean and Tina, in a highly tense situation. Sean has been shot and has his gun pointing at Tina, they greet each other, then all hell breaks loose. Who are they and how did they get here?

The next chapter goes back 37 hours and sees a brutal serial killer, called The Night Creeper, being arrested by police. As he is scooped off the London streets, everyone can sleep a little easier, as he is guilty of the brutal deaths of five young women. Or is he? He proclaims his innocence.

We're down to 24 hours ago, where we catch up with Sean from the first chapter, an undercover cop who has infiltrated a notorious criminal gang and has just been called out on a job. On a bid to find a personal sense of justice, he hasn't really cleared all this with his boss and things rapidly get complicated. Has he bitten off more than he can chew?

12 hours ago, DI Tina Boyd (also from the first chapter) realises that the Night Creeper can't have been the murderer in all of the cases, but as she follows her new leads, she finds herself being led into a very dangerous place.

As all the threads start to combine, spinning a complicated and addictive web of double-crossing and danger, who will eventually come out on top ?

It's an exciting read, with short chapters that keep you coming back for one (or two or ten !) more. Each of the heroes has a complex character, with personal faults and dodgy motivations that make them seem very human. I could see this being made into a cracking Hollywood movie, with fast-paced action and heart-stopping gun-fights aplenty !

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £6.99

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (11 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780552158817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552158817
  • ASIN: 055215881X
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 19.8 cm


  1. All that for 50p? What a bargain! Great review.

  2. I know what you mean. I'm trying not to buy any new releases for myself (though keep buying books for Eddie). I've been more or less good for avoiding the Works and the Book People offers but the charity shops are calling me. I haven't heard of this book, but it does sound like a riveting thriller. Excellent review, as always!

  3. I am glad I am not the only one with piles of books still to read. This does look like a great thriller and a great price!

  4. Sounds like a good read. I get loads of books from charity shops. I am not happy unless I have a pile of books to read.

  5. Love this author - one I'll be reading soon


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