“Breaking in is only the beginning”
This book is the first book of the Tom Holt trilogy. The book mainly centers around four characters with different skills used to break into a safe inside a secured house in South America, which contains something that their client is willing to pay a huge sum of money for. E. C. Scullion’s ability to create a world in such a detailed manner is incredible, and the best thing about her descriptions is that they aren’t too wordy. The descriptions are straight to the point and concise, and simultaneously provides enough information to imagine yourself in place of the character. The downside of this style though, is that now I want to visit Buenos Aires.
The thing I liked the most is the pacing of the story. It isn’t too fast but it isn’t slow either. The action scenes in the novel are not drawn out and sometimes left to the imagination. The clear implication of the phrases and sentences are enough for us to draw conclusions and later they are confirmed in another scene. I quite like this as it leaves the author with paying more attention to other scenes that need detailing. This pacing especially works with the flashback scenes that the book delivers. It does get a little confusing when one scene is in the present and then the next paragraph details a flashback for another character and it isn’t till later on you realize how this connects to the present paragraph you just read. This type of timing structure really intrigued me.
I love fast paced books and this novel in the beginning lacked that fast pace. I wanted to get to the interesting parts straight away but the structure is what kept me grounded and interested to not skip any parts. It is why I finished this novel in a day as I couldn’t put it down. The structure of going from present to past gives a breadth of the backgrounds that each character comes from and insights into what led them to the present events. It tells us the journey that they took to get to the present scene and why they are the way there are. This structure is what makes this book stand out as a tense and twisting novel for me. It provides the readers insight into all the characters, including minor characters, and gives you enough information to keep you on your toes. This especially worked with the ‘Client’ who wanted the safe open, and the fact that it takes a long time to figure out his real identity is what really made me fall in love with the storyline. The build up for the Client’s identity took time and it allowed me to grow invested in finding out who he is and what his motivations was.
Another thing I liked about this book was the romance between the characters, as well as the sexual tension not being too heavily focused on. Sometimes I stop reading novels when I realized the romance is heavily focused on rather than the thriller and mystery. However, Scullion’s wonderfully written novel was able to find a right balance with keeping the thriller element on top and not rushing the relationship. It slowly builds the romance for the reader to feel connected and actually want two characters to get together.
One quote I fell in love with was “Fear crept up from his toes, adrenaline coursing through his veins” – The moment I read this I was feeling adrenaline and biting my lip in anticipation to know what happened next. The simple sentence is not too wordy which I love. I tend to find that most thriller books spell everything out for us as if we don’t understand anything. And honesty we don’t. I’ve never broken into a house using a water pipe wearing a wetsuit with dogs able to maim me and guards surrounding me, but I can paint that image in my mind with a few words. This author does that perfectly and I honestly can’t wait to read the other books in the series.