Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Book review : Burning Bright - Nick Petrie


This was a book that I picked up before the confinement at The Works, when they were clearing out a lot of books for £1 each. Well, you can't go far wrong at that price ! 

It is the second book in the series featuring war veteran Peter Ash and I did feel I'd missed out on reading the first book, which would probably have helped me to understand his issues and his past more clearly. He suffers from what he calls "white static", a crippling claustrophobia brought on by post-traumatic stress, which makes it hard for him to be indoors, even for short amounts of time. This condition has forced him away from conventional life and deep into the wilderness, living rough and sleeping under the stars. That all sounds almost romantic, but it's not easy for Peter. In fact, he considers robbing a shop so that he will end up in prison and be forced to deal with his issues.

As he's strolling merrily through the woods, snacking on trail mix and enjoying the greenery, he stumbles across a bear. (As you do !) This disgruntled animal chews his shoe, eats anything edible (and lots of things that officially aren't) from his backpack and settles down under the tree that Peter climbs to escape. Not to worry. Peter is the kind of guy who will always find a solution and come out the other side with barely a scratch ! Stumbling across a series of coloured ropes, he soon meets up with a woman, June Cassidy, hiding out in the tree tops. Her welcome is at best very tepid, but he soon wins her over and she reveals that someone - and she has no idea who - is trying to kill her. Peter promises to help her and puts his life on the line, trying to get her out of the forest and into safety. This didn't sound particularly believable to me - why would he risk his own life (and, later, give a large part of his money to her) for someone he has literally just met ? 

The duo break out of the forest, gunning down the bad guys on the way, then try to figure out what the hell is going on. Nothing is sacred, with cars, computers and even houses being shot to pieces or burnt down along the way, but Peter has some extremely loyal and fast shooting buddies from his time in the forces who can help him out. June's mother, who had been killed (or murdered ?) a few weeks before, provides a super-duper online assistant that will answer any questions that June has, so they slowly start building up the bigger picture and tracking down those who are after June.

When I finished the book, I felt like I had been watching a Hollywood blockbuster along the lines of Die Hard or Rambo. Peter is undoubtedly a good guy - a genuine hero with a glorious military career that has left him with serious issues in the real world - but he just seems completely indestructible. In fact, I don't think any of the good guys in the book are injured or killed during the numerous showdowns. There are plenty of bad guy being shot to pieces though. The love story that begins to blossom between the two leading characters is slightly predictable and I'm sure this will be continued in the rest of the series. (There are currently six books in the series.) On the other hand, I could imagine her being killed off in a tragic attack, giving Peter free reign to go off and help out a few more women in need !

It was an enjoyable read, big on action and definitely entertaining, but maybe not completely believable.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £7.99

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (8 Feb. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1788542495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1788542494
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 2.6 x 13 cm


  1. Thanks for the review, this definitely doesn't sound like my kind of book!

  2. New author to explore - thanks for the review


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