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Kat's Review of Smile of the Viper by Harry Dunn

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 My Rating: 4/5

 Availability: Paperback, Kindle, Nook and Kobo

 Synopsis:  London private investigator Jack Barclay is on the trail of financier Tom Stanton who has disappeared with £1million of clients’ money, leaving his desperate wife and children behind. 

 Stanton’s Parisian mistress, Danielle, is also involved with the boss of a drug smuggling cartel and Stanton is seduced into laundering money for them. When £4million of drugs cash goes missing and Tom is the suspect, he and Danielle go on the run. 

 The stakes are raised with the kidnapping of Stanton’s daughter, and Jack finds himself in a race to find Stanton before the mob do. As he hunts him down, he uncovers a nightmare world of torture, betrayal and murder, putting his own life in danger. 

 

My Review: I have to be honest and say that the cover of this book didn’t appeal to me. Don’t ask me why, I can’t put my finger on it but it just doesn’t sit right with me. What I can tell you is that it does NOT do the book justice and if I had one major criticism to Mr Dunn and his Publishers it would be to look at changing the style of cover for his next book. The synopsis of this sounded good and the opening chapters were enough to reel you in.

Jack Barclay is a Private Investigator and things have been pretty slow recently. When Jill Stanton comes in asking him to try and trace her husband Tom, Jack had no clue what sort of chase he would have on his hands. It seems that Tom Stanton who is a financier has done a runner with a million pounds worth of clients’ money. In addition to this, it seems that Tom has got himself involved with some very nasty people.

I liked the writing style and the character Jack Barclay was a likeable guy. There was also quite a lot going on in terms of plot threads and layers and certainly enough to keep you keen to continue reading. The addition of Tom’s mistress Danielle and her antics involving the Cartel also add another dimension to the story. It was certainly paced well and a pretty good debut novel. However, if I am being really picky there were a couple of things (aside from the cover) that I didn’t like.

Jack was far too ‘familiar’ with the client, and that led me to get that ‘first time author’ feel. There was also too many loose ends for me, I like to know what happens after the fact too (even if it’s just a short epilogue). Having mentioned the negatives, I still really liked this and think I will really look forward to the next book (especially if it features Jack Barclay again). A pretty impressive start from Harry Dunn and I will look forward to the next book.

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