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Stay Alive

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ONE WITNESS You’re on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out – and your whole life changes in an instant. ONE SECRET A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don’t know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She’s in terrible danger. And now you are too. NO ESCAPE You’re running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that t ONE WITNESS You’re on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out – and your whole life changes in an instant. ONE SECRET A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don’t know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She’s in terrible danger. And now you are too. NO ESCAPE You’re running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if they catch you, you’ll be next …


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ONE WITNESS You’re on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out – and your whole life changes in an instant. ONE SECRET A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don’t know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She’s in terrible danger. And now you are too. NO ESCAPE You’re running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that t ONE WITNESS You’re on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out – and your whole life changes in an instant. ONE SECRET A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don’t know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She’s in terrible danger. And now you are too. NO ESCAPE You’re running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if they catch you, you’ll be next …

30 review for Stay Alive

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Thrilling, twisting, unexpected, brutal, love. 5 More Words: Intricate, countryside, police, mystery, drama. This is a very intricate thriller, which keeps you guessing and continuously keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you have something figured out, then BAM! You were wrong. The thing I loved most about this book was the unbelievable pace. I was almost out of breath reading this and didn't want to put it down. So much happens between these pages, and to so many people. I wasn't 5 Words: Thrilling, twisting, unexpected, brutal, love. 5 More Words: Intricate, countryside, police, mystery, drama. This is a very intricate thriller, which keeps you guessing and continuously keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you have something figured out, then BAM! You were wrong. The thing I loved most about this book was the unbelievable pace. I was almost out of breath reading this and didn't want to put it down. So much happens between these pages, and to so many people. I wasn't so keen on the timeline of the book, the way it was written did confuse me at first - but then everything clicks into place and I just sat thinking "oh". Once I'd finished, I knew exactly why it had been written in the way that it was. It easily makes the story much more powerful than if it had been written in a more chronological manner. The characters in Stay Alive are almost as complex as the plot. There are many layers, many realist qualities to them. They have faults and strengths and weaknesses and beliefs. I've never read Simon Kernick before, but I will definitely read more by this author.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Best Crime Books & More

    Holy Shit! You know that feeling you get when you’re watching some really intense thriller and the music gets a bit slower, and the tension mounts…..that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach…do I watch? Do I turn away? Yep that one! Well this started from page 1 and finished pretty much when I had finished. If you haven’t read Simon Kernick before (first of all where on earth have you been) then you can compare his work to one of those movies! Sometimes SK books are hit or miss for me, some p Holy Shit! You know that feeling you get when you’re watching some really intense thriller and the music gets a bit slower, and the tension mounts…..that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach…do I watch? Do I turn away? Yep that one! Well this started from page 1 and finished pretty much when I had finished. If you haven’t read Simon Kernick before (first of all where on earth have you been) then you can compare his work to one of those movies! Sometimes SK books are hit or miss for me, some people (I agree occasionally) think that they are too unrealistic. Other times they are amazing. To date my favourite read has always been Relentless, until now! Although it may be a joint winner this latest book is certainly up there with his best stuff! Amanda Rowan finds herself in a dangerous situation and is forced to flee her home. When she moves away she figures that her life is relatively safe and she can go about her normal day to day life. When she realises that this couldn’t be further from the truth she inadvertently drags a family into her mess. Jess is the elder sister up visiting her sister when Amanda Rowan drags her and her family into her dangerous world. From the moment this part of the story begins my heart was racing even faster than it had been up until that point. Kernick has certainly exceeded my expectations and has produced an absolute heart thumping page turner. It was a book that I literally couldn’t put down. Every time I picked it back up that all too familiar sick feeling in the pit of my stomach returned. You almost feel like you are taking the journey with them. Every chapter throws up new danger, violence and more twists and turns than the best rollercoaster in the world! The pace was bordering on frenetic but the story had me gripped from the outset. Towards the end I thought I knew where the book was headed but boy was I wrong! This latest Kernick is a true delight that his fans will be itching to get their fingers on!

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Penny

    It seems I'm out of line with most of those who read this book, but for me the fact the plot was frenetic didn't make up for some failings in terms of the writing and lack of character building. I'm not sure if the serial killer here is mentioned in earlier books, but for me the sudden jumping into his third or fourth killing with little in the way of background jarred. And I still don't get why the main characters acted as they did. It worked as a plot device, not in terms of motivation. I read It seems I'm out of line with most of those who read this book, but for me the fact the plot was frenetic didn't make up for some failings in terms of the writing and lack of character building. I'm not sure if the serial killer here is mentioned in earlier books, but for me the sudden jumping into his third or fourth killing with little in the way of background jarred. And I still don't get why the main characters acted as they did. It worked as a plot device, not in terms of motivation. I read quite a bit of Simon Kernick in the past, but for me this was disappointing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rob Twinem

    Ok so this book is not going to win any prizes in the deep thinking big character development novel but what it lacks in feeling it makes up for sheer enjoyment...and lets face it sometimes it's good to just go along for the ride :)...Amanda Rowan arrives home to find that her husband is upstairs in bed with his mistress and guess what both have been murdered!! and not only that the killer is still present and wants to claim Amanda as his third trophy for the day. So starts a great white knuckle Ok so this book is not going to win any prizes in the deep thinking big character development novel but what it lacks in feeling it makes up for sheer enjoyment...and lets face it sometimes it's good to just go along for the ride :)...Amanda Rowan arrives home to find that her husband is upstairs in bed with his mistress and guess what both have been murdered!! and not only that the killer is still present and wants to claim Amanda as his third trophy for the day. So starts a great white knuckle ride and edge of the seat fun thriller...which never takes itself too seriously but is great fun and adds a little bit of light hearted killer fun to a good old crime caper. There are some top class baddies and a (flawed...is there any other) hero Scope with a little gangster and Russian mafia imput! What more could you want I really enjoyed and will certainly be reading lots more by Mr Kernick.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    You can always rely on Simon Kernick when it comes to really good books and this really is a very,very good book.From the very first page it grabs your attention and the action and twists dont stop until the very end.I have always liked Mike Bolt and it was great that he was in this book,i also liked Scope and look forward to him hopefully being in more of Mr Kernick's books.I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a fast paced thriller with loads of action and plot twists. You can always rely on Simon Kernick when it comes to really good books and this really is a very,very good book.From the very first page it grabs your attention and the action and twists dont stop until the very end.I have always liked Mike Bolt and it was great that he was in this book,i also liked Scope and look forward to him hopefully being in more of Mr Kernick's books.I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a fast paced thriller with loads of action and plot twists.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    This book was a little all over the place for me. It started well – a woman arrives home unexpectedly amidst the murder of her husband and his mistress by a well-known serial killer, The Disciple. For reasons no one can explain he chases Amanda though she escapes with her life. Although the police think it unlikely The Disciple will target Amanda, she retreats to a secret and remote countryside location. The novel slows a little as (just three weeks later) Amanda settles into her new life and we This book was a little all over the place for me. It started well – a woman arrives home unexpectedly amidst the murder of her husband and his mistress by a well-known serial killer, The Disciple. For reasons no one can explain he chases Amanda though she escapes with her life. Although the police think it unlikely The Disciple will target Amanda, she retreats to a secret and remote countryside location. The novel slows a little as (just three weeks later) Amanda settles into her new life and we meet a few other players, including the detective responsible for finding The Disciple. I felt that the introduction of DCS Mike Bolt could have happened while Amanda was still in hospital recovering, as backdating his involvement resulted in the loss of some continuity. I don’t mind novels that alternate timeframes but for some reason it didn’t work very well for me here. Amanda’s feeling safe and out for a walk when she’s next attacked, but evades capture is goes on the run. Unfortunately the Grainger family (an aunt and uncle with their orphaned nieces) are on a canoeing outing when Amanda comes flying out of the woods towards them, chased by armed men. Before they can do anything she jumps into their canoe and they’re all on the run. The men after Amanda are unfazed and Jess and her 10 year old sister Casey take over much of the storytelling as their uncle and aunt are killed before their eyes. Amanda blames herself for the family’s fate and takes the young pair under her wing as they attempt to evade the group of armed men. My eyes glazed over a little at this point as I hate ‘chase scenes’. When watching a movie I fast-forward them and when reading a book I skim them. But I was invested enough in the Amanda, Jess and Casey that I cared about what happened to them. So by the end the novel had become a bit of a page-turned as I desperately cheered on the underdogs. I have to admit I really didn’t see the plot twist in this coming. Early on perhaps, but by the time it came I was certain it wasn’t a possibility. I found the novel a little wordy in places and the lack of continuity a bit frustrating but particularly enjoyed the beginning and latter half. And… like I said – I didn’t see the plot twist coming.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Bridges

    I was sent this book to read and review. I have read Simon Kernick's novels before so I know that they are always fast paced and full of character and "Stay Alive" is no exception; it starts off at breakneck speed and never slows down. This makes it easy and quick to read and because you are immediately interested, it makes it easy to keep reading. This book introduces some characters I would really like to see again - Bolt (the policeman) and Scope (the bystander who gets involved) have their fl I was sent this book to read and review. I have read Simon Kernick's novels before so I know that they are always fast paced and full of character and "Stay Alive" is no exception; it starts off at breakneck speed and never slows down. This makes it easy and quick to read and because you are immediately interested, it makes it easy to keep reading. This book introduces some characters I would really like to see again - Bolt (the policeman) and Scope (the bystander who gets involved) have their flaws but are brilliantly drawn and interesting all the time, I would like to read about them again. Amanda is a thoroughly irritating character and it is no surprise that people are after her, and although it is pretty easy to guess why, that doesn't detract from the story. The reason I have not given it 5 stars is the same drawback I have seen in his other books, I don't like the graphic descriptions of the crimes. I realise this is a personal view, but for me they are too graphic for a thriller and more suited to a horror genre. Other people may not agree with that, but it does detract from the overall feel of the book for me. Otherwise another great story which I would definitely recommend.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

    This is the first book I have read by Simon Kernick, who has a reputation as a good thriller/mystery writer. I read an advance reading edition courtesy the Dead Good Book Group, to whom I am very grateful. But I have to say I was not impressed with the book. It wasn’t my cup of tea at all. It was one of those books that you read to fill in time at the airport when your plane is late, little thought being necessary. As advertised, the story moved along at a rapid pace. It starts with the lucky es This is the first book I have read by Simon Kernick, who has a reputation as a good thriller/mystery writer. I read an advance reading edition courtesy the Dead Good Book Group, to whom I am very grateful. But I have to say I was not impressed with the book. It wasn’t my cup of tea at all. It was one of those books that you read to fill in time at the airport when your plane is late, little thought being necessary. As advertised, the story moved along at a rapid pace. It starts with the lucky escape by Amanda Rowan from a serial killer called The Disciple, and then splits into two threads: the ongoing search by the police for The Disciple, which is quite interesting and believable, and the second thread which has Amanda being pursued through the Scottish Highlands by four armed killers, for no apparent reason. (the reason becomes apparent towards the end). The second thread occupies most of the book, as the killers kill anyone or anything that gets in their way (except of course, Amanda). This was not really believable to me. I also felt the writing and the characters were simplistic. So it was a quick read, but I don’t see me coming back for more Simon Kernick.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adam Moss

    Typically turbo-paced Kernick thriller with a few serious twists and turns. Short paragraphs make you read it apace too - enhancing the feeling that you're on some kind of murderous rollercoaster. Best news of all - Scope is back. Anyone who read Kernick's 'Siege' will know all about Scope. And in 'Stay Alive' he's given a central role. This felt a lot shorter than previous Kernick adventures and, at just 345 pages, it almost certainly is. But that only helps to accentuate the speed of the entire Typically turbo-paced Kernick thriller with a few serious twists and turns. Short paragraphs make you read it apace too - enhancing the feeling that you're on some kind of murderous rollercoaster. Best news of all - Scope is back. Anyone who read Kernick's 'Siege' will know all about Scope. And in 'Stay Alive' he's given a central role. This felt a lot shorter than previous Kernick adventures and, at just 345 pages, it almost certainly is. But that only helps to accentuate the speed of the entire affair. Criticism? Without spoiling the plot, there was just a single occurrence that I found a little too coincidental to find truly believable. Other than that, it was a rip-roaring juggernaut of suspense, action and edge-of-your-seat terror. I can't be the only one who thinks Simon Kernick writes his books with the big screen very much in mind.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rog Harrison

    I have read several of this author's books over the years. The story is far fetched with a high body count but is a gripping read. The story is mainly told in the present but there are bits which flash back to other characters a few weeks earlier but this is a necessary device to keep the reader guessing. The ending actually explained things even if it was a bit implausible. I enjoyed this even though I found the two young, 17 and 10 years old, female characters a bit irritating. I have read several of this author's books over the years. The story is far fetched with a high body count but is a gripping read. The story is mainly told in the present but there are bits which flash back to other characters a few weeks earlier but this is a necessary device to keep the reader guessing. The ending actually explained things even if it was a bit implausible. I enjoyed this even though I found the two young, 17 and 10 years old, female characters a bit irritating.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    A great read from Author Simon Kernick. Not sure why he isn't more popular, his books are well written, fast paced and full of energy. I have read most of his work and normally love his novels.His novels have strong characters that come to life through his words. This book grabs you from the first page and holds you right to the end. A great read from Author Simon Kernick. Not sure why he isn't more popular, his books are well written, fast paced and full of energy. I have read most of his work and normally love his novels.His novels have strong characters that come to life through his words. This book grabs you from the first page and holds you right to the end.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Nikolits

    Lots of good action with a nice twist at the end but a bit of a time-filler read, not particularly memorable

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. As a fan of crime and thrillers I feel a bit bad that until now I had not read a Simon Kernick novel. I went into reading this with no expectations at all, a blank page, ready to be filled up with impressions. Stay Alive kicks off rapidly with a bucket load of killing and action. We are off to a good start I was thinking. I like a book that kicks into first gear by the end of Chapter One. Hooked in, r I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. As a fan of crime and thrillers I feel a bit bad that until now I had not read a Simon Kernick novel. I went into reading this with no expectations at all, a blank page, ready to be filled up with impressions. Stay Alive kicks off rapidly with a bucket load of killing and action. We are off to a good start I was thinking. I like a book that kicks into first gear by the end of Chapter One. Hooked in, ready to rock and roll. The book kicks off with Amanda Rowan being witness to her husband's murder as well as his lover, she rebuilds her life after this tragic event. The murder is pinned to a serial killer being hunted called The Disciple, well knows for his gruesome torture techniques and signature wall paintings that go with the death of his victims. The police are on alert, looking for clues and DNA to find out who The Disciple is in order to catch him and stop his murdering rampage. The book then flows into a complex storyline of Amanda escaping an attempted abduction and fleeing for her life in the woods of Scotland. This is where MANY characters start to come into play in the book and the plot focuses strongly on the chase to come. Amanda is not alone in the woods, innocent people have got caught up in the hunt for her. I loved the pace of the book but found the woodland chasing scene went on a bit too long, it took up to much of the story for my liking, lots of detail that could have been cut shorter as I got the general idea already. There is only so much chasing that you can do. I was worn out just reading it! I really liked some of the characters in this book, and was keen to see the outcome of the whole situation. It's one of those books where as you read you know you are missing something. You just know something is not adding up as it seems. There is a lot of shooting, running, hiding and killing going on. If you like action it's all here. I did find some of the scenarios a bit distracting and almost not believable however, I can't share because of spoilers but it's like some of the plot is sidelined here and there, with frustrating snippets that don't seem connected. I wasn't surprised with the reveal and the twists at the end, in fact I felt a bit let down, I wanted something a bit more spectacular. Overall I enjoyed this book, I liked the pace, but think it lacked some finesse as a crime thriller, there was way too much story in the middle set on the woodland chase. It's one of those books I wanted to love more but it just didn't quite hit the spot. 3.5 stars, still a really good read, pace is fast, easy reading. I will certainly try some more of Simon Kernick's novels now.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Miles

    Stay Alive by Simon Kernick ; it does what it says on the tin. This book is all about survival, survival of the innocent and the not so innocent. The thing is no one is safe, you never quite know what’s going to happen, who’s going to be shot and who’s lucky enough to come through the ordeal unscathed. In truth, no one does whether it's mental or physical scaring. Told at breakneck speeds the book is a fluid and invigorating read and before you know it the body count has reached epic proportions Stay Alive by Simon Kernick ; it does what it says on the tin. This book is all about survival, survival of the innocent and the not so innocent. The thing is no one is safe, you never quite know what’s going to happen, who’s going to be shot and who’s lucky enough to come through the ordeal unscathed. In truth, no one does whether it's mental or physical scaring. Told at breakneck speeds the book is a fluid and invigorating read and before you know it the body count has reached epic proportions and the final chapter read. A gripping story, Stay Alive keeps you guessing throughout and there are few quiet moments - where someone’s life isn’t in danger. There’s the obligatory red herring and twist at the end you’ll do well to guess in its entirety. A solid read as I’ve already mentioned, the book came alive for me with the introduction of the main character - Scope - although at the time I had no idea he would play more than a bit part. He may not be everyone's idea of a main protagonist but he was mine, there was something endearing about him, something that makes you champion his cause and like him. Introduced following an attack on his boss - a canoe hire company - Scope looks for revenge and boy does he get it! I knew within a matter of pages I’d like him and I wasn’t wrong. Scope is one of those people who’s carrying a lot of emotional baggage but a guy who, when the chips are down, you want on your side. I really enjoyed learning more about our hero and his backstory, his grief and what made him tick. He’s both believable and determined. It’s not all about Scope far from it; numerous characters play a huge part in the book from detectives, antagonists and victims alike. Let’s not forget the wonderful Scottish countryside! As a canoeist myself I want to take a trip down the river – perhaps a little more sedately than in this book! I also enjoyed how Kernick told the story, he managed to take it one way, throw in misdirection once or twice and keep you guessing throughout. There were a couple of events I'd figured out early on but this has absolutely no impact on the quality of writing and the plot itself. This is the third Kernick novel I've had the pleasure of reading and Siege still remains my favourite. One thing you can be sure of with this author, a bloody good read. Stay Alive is no exception.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I’ve read every one of Simon Kernick’s books and the one thing that you can always guarantee is that it will be a fast paced, tension filled experience; Stay Alive is no exception. It starts with a vicious double murder and, as you would expect with an SK book, the body count increases throughout the story. It's quite difficult to review this one - if I give too much detail about the plot then it will be necessary to include spoilers and really it's a story best left for the reader to discover. T I’ve read every one of Simon Kernick’s books and the one thing that you can always guarantee is that it will be a fast paced, tension filled experience; Stay Alive is no exception. It starts with a vicious double murder and, as you would expect with an SK book, the body count increases throughout the story. It's quite difficult to review this one - if I give too much detail about the plot then it will be necessary to include spoilers and really it's a story best left for the reader to discover. The story centres around Amanda Rowan, she has interrupted a murder scene and has unwittingly put her own life in danger. For her own safety, she moves away to a remote Scottish village however the killer is determined to track her down and thus the story unfolds. The short chapters make this an easy read, and if you are anything like me you will continue reading, thinking just one more chapter…and before you know it, it is the early hours! I sat up very late to finish it as I couldn’t put it down without knowing how it ended. This was such a fast paced story my heart was racing for much of it. There is no time for any in depth characterisation – you learn as you go along and only know as much as you need to. As is often the case with this author’s books, some characters make a return appearance every now and again and it was good to see the return of detectives Mike Bolt and Mo Khan, who have featured in many previous stories. They are on the tail of a serial killer, known as The Disciple and it’s a race against the clock to catch him before he finds his next victim. Simon Kernick is a master of twisty suspense – just when you think you know where the story is heading he will throw a curve ball and tease the reader with twists and turns. This book is definitely amongst his best so far and I can thoroughly recommend it. Just one word of warning, if you intend to read “Wrong Time, Wrong Place” (one of the 2013 Quick Reads series) then I suggest that you read it before reading Stay Alive as this book contains a whopping big spoiler.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lainy

    Time taken to read - 1 week Pages - 420 Publisher - Arrow Books Blurb from Goodread ONE WITNESS You’re on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out – and your whole life changes in an instant. ONE SECRET A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don’t know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She’s in terrible danger. And now you are too. NO ESCAPE You’re running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if t Time taken to read - 1 week Pages - 420 Publisher - Arrow Books Blurb from Goodread ONE WITNESS You’re on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out – and your whole life changes in an instant. ONE SECRET A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don’t know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She’s in terrible danger. And now you are too. NO ESCAPE You’re running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if they catch you, you’ll be next … My Review The tale opens "21 days ago" we are introduced to Amanda Rowan, she stumbles upon her husbands murder and the killer is still in the house. What ensues is a game of cat and mouse, Amanda is running for her life, her killer will stop at nothing and innocent people will die! Amanda is one of our main characters, the whole story is focused around her and the maniac who is after her. Along the road she meets other people who will be dragged into the chase and fight to survive. The tale skips between the 21 days ago, flipping to present day and then back and fourth between the two time lines. It is easy enough to follow the time line and the characters involved. The crime and chase starts from the very first chapter and your drawn into a scary and dark world through Amanda and the people she meets as she tries to stay alive. I found it really hard to put down at first, however, as the story goes on a few things didn't sit right with me. By the end of the story you understand everything however I just felt a few aspects were a bit out there and hard to believe. It is still a really good story though and I will read this author again, 3/5 for me this time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lazy Cornish Cat

    I am a fan of Simon Kernick and a big fan of Paul Thornley so this book was a must for my audible collection when it was published last month. I didn't even know what the book was about when I started listening! I've finished it this afternoon after spending most of the weekend listening to it - a good way to pass the time while traveling up/back down the motorway. Having read the other reviews, I have to say I had no recollection of Scope and I'm surprised at the good reviews its got as sadly, I d I am a fan of Simon Kernick and a big fan of Paul Thornley so this book was a must for my audible collection when it was published last month. I didn't even know what the book was about when I started listening! I've finished it this afternoon after spending most of the weekend listening to it - a good way to pass the time while traveling up/back down the motorway. Having read the other reviews, I have to say I had no recollection of Scope and I'm surprised at the good reviews its got as sadly, I didn't enjoy this one as much as earlier novels. I'm not sure if this is because I overdosed this weekend in listening time or if the story/plot just didn't do it for me. The reviews for this book are very positive but I found myself getting bored and found certain elements of the plot just a little bit too convenient. The book certainly has promise and was well thought out but could have been better. I liked the ending which was clever although I think this could have been thrown into the mix earlier to add suspense and intrigue. I thought the chapters involving the detectives were lacking.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    I must admit that I am a huge Simon Kernick fan. I discovered him by accident when browsing at my local library and he fast became one of my favourite authors. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from the publisher via www.netgalley.com in return for an honest and unbiased review. To those who have read other novels by this author, Stay Alive sees a return of some familiar characters. For those who haven’t, where have you been? Stay Alive sends you on a roller-coaster ride of twists I must admit that I am a huge Simon Kernick fan. I discovered him by accident when browsing at my local library and he fast became one of my favourite authors. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from the publisher via www.netgalley.com in return for an honest and unbiased review. To those who have read other novels by this author, Stay Alive sees a return of some familiar characters. For those who haven’t, where have you been? Stay Alive sends you on a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns, murder and mayhem from the very start and although the plot is not as complex as some of Simon’s other novels, it keeps you on your toes and provides you with those “doh” moments when you realise the clues have been drip-fed throughout the story but only come together at the end. Some reviews I have read say that it is unbelievable - it’s not a non-fiction book people, it doesn't necessarily have to be believable to make it an enjoyable and engrossing read with guaranteed action delivered at breakneck speed. http://haziegaze.blogspot.co.uk/

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sean Peters

    After charging through my last exciting book The Hit By David Baldacci, I thought I would go with one of my favourite authors and read Simon Kernick's new book Stay Alive. Wow, a second book in a row I just could not put down and read this book in four days. This author knows how to keep his story fast paced, action packed, great strong characters, and just keeps you guessing to the last pages. Great to have one of his returning characters from The Siege. This is just pace, pace , pace. All the way t After charging through my last exciting book The Hit By David Baldacci, I thought I would go with one of my favourite authors and read Simon Kernick's new book Stay Alive. Wow, a second book in a row I just could not put down and read this book in four days. This author knows how to keep his story fast paced, action packed, great strong characters, and just keeps you guessing to the last pages. Great to have one of his returning characters from The Siege. This is just pace, pace , pace. All the way through the book I was guessing what was happening, what's going on? Only thing is my next decision is tough !! What do I read next, so many recommendations. Still waiting for my ordered Tap On The Window, Linwood Barclay. But after a tough decision going for new author and highly recommended The Never List by Koethi Zan

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Contains spoilers. This review is based in the Audible version which is read by one of my favourite narrators, Paul Thornley, who does a great job but I would have liked him to have kept the Manchetser accent of Scope that he used in Siege. Speaking of which, I wasn't aware that Scope was in this and it was a nice surprise as he was the only character I really related to. I found the plot extremely unfeasible. If not for the story in itself, but for the 'shift' in the personality of Amanda from Contains spoilers. This review is based in the Audible version which is read by one of my favourite narrators, Paul Thornley, who does a great job but I would have liked him to have kept the Manchetser accent of Scope that he used in Siege. Speaking of which, I wasn't aware that Scope was in this and it was a nice surprise as he was the only character I really related to. I found the plot extremely unfeasible. If not for the story in itself, but for the 'shift' in the personality of Amanda from the beginning to the end. I felt as if the 'real' story was hidden on purpose to make the story a 'mystery'. But in my opinion, at the end you should be thinking "ahhhh..." Because the clues were laid out. Here wasn't the case. An enjoyable, fast paced, read but not up there with some of my faves.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    The book was like a mine cart rapidly going down a track full of missing sections, the pace was so fast that most of the gaps were flown over, but in the end it did crash and burn a little. One of the main issues is the cheap conclusion. I managed to predict one of the suspects, though their involvement was smartly and subtly foreshadowed, but the other suspect and the overall method of the opening crime was impossible to realistically suspect with the evidence given. Another problem lies with th The book was like a mine cart rapidly going down a track full of missing sections, the pace was so fast that most of the gaps were flown over, but in the end it did crash and burn a little. One of the main issues is the cheap conclusion. I managed to predict one of the suspects, though their involvement was smartly and subtly foreshadowed, but the other suspect and the overall method of the opening crime was impossible to realistically suspect with the evidence given. Another problem lies with the astounding number of unfortunate coincidences, it became quite silly after a while, making the story a little too unbelievable. I shouldn't be almost laughing with disbelief when characters are in danger! The book was enjoyable but very flawed. Good for reading on holiday or when you don't want something too heavy, but not to be taken too seriously.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Martin Turner

    In the early stages it is very fast paced and gets you hooked straight away, reminiscent of "Whistle Blower" by Tess Gerritsen in the way that that starts too. However, it carries on in the same fashion throughout. This left me quite breathless - is anyone a good person in Scotland? Thoroughly enjoyable though - would probably make a good thriller for film or TV. A real "page-turner", hard to put down. I've already recommended this to others for when it comes out. Far fetched at times, but you In the early stages it is very fast paced and gets you hooked straight away, reminiscent of "Whistle Blower" by Tess Gerritsen in the way that that starts too. However, it carries on in the same fashion throughout. This left me quite breathless - is anyone a good person in Scotland? Thoroughly enjoyable though - would probably make a good thriller for film or TV. A real "page-turner", hard to put down. I've already recommended this to others for when it comes out. Far fetched at times, but you get so caught up in the plot that you are on edge right through. Not sure about the nickname for the killer when no details of the crimes were released for public consumption, but it is hard to criticise such an enthralling thriller as this.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    This book goes from 0-60 in about 3 seconds. Incredibly fast paced it rolls along at a rate of knots. You do have to suspend belief at times but this is an incredible thriller. The search for a serial killer "The Disciple" dovetails with the story of a young woman who disturbs the killer of her husband and his lover and goes on the run. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time are a whole host of other characters- who to trust? Good question! A bit graphic at times and hard to take occasionall This book goes from 0-60 in about 3 seconds. Incredibly fast paced it rolls along at a rate of knots. You do have to suspend belief at times but this is an incredible thriller. The search for a serial killer "The Disciple" dovetails with the story of a young woman who disturbs the killer of her husband and his lover and goes on the run. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time are a whole host of other characters- who to trust? Good question! A bit graphic at times and hard to take occasionally (even for me a seasoned thriller reader- I think it was context coupled with the unrelenting nature of it all that I found a bit hard sometimes) Reads like a film which is maybe what author is hoping for. A very fast paced thriller and I will read more when I've got my breath back

  24. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Fantastic book! It reads like a movie and from the first page you are drawn into the action. One of those books you that make you look forward to the bus/train journey to and from work. The short chapters keep the pace set to 'ridiculously fast' and my nerves are a total wreck now :) this is my first experience of Kernick, and I will definitely be reading another... Fantastic book! It reads like a movie and from the first page you are drawn into the action. One of those books you that make you look forward to the bus/train journey to and from work. The short chapters keep the pace set to 'ridiculously fast' and my nerves are a total wreck now :) this is my first experience of Kernick, and I will definitely be reading another...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maryann Bosah

    Stay alive is the first book by Simon Kernick that I have read. It was certainly an interesting read. He is a talented writer which has inspired me to read more of his books. The story had a gratifying ending.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    I love Simon Kernick books, but this wasn't quite as good as previous ones. It was entertaining and the ending is a shocking surprise, so it's still worth making the time and effort to read. I love Simon Kernick books, but this wasn't quite as good as previous ones. It was entertaining and the ending is a shocking surprise, so it's still worth making the time and effort to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Schulz

    Just recently, I read the short novel by Simon Kernick ‘Dead Man’s Gift’ making me so nosy about this guy Scope I had to get hold of the full length novel Stay Alive, also featuring Scope. And in general I have not been disappointed, besides other protagonists, Scope was introduced in more depth and gained much more detail. But, as someone noted in the net, he is not David Milne. Well, he should not be, but there is missing bit with respect to the character. Back to Stay Alive. I liked the overal Just recently, I read the short novel by Simon Kernick ‘Dead Man’s Gift’ making me so nosy about this guy Scope I had to get hold of the full length novel Stay Alive, also featuring Scope. And in general I have not been disappointed, besides other protagonists, Scope was introduced in more depth and gained much more detail. But, as someone noted in the net, he is not David Milne. Well, he should not be, but there is missing bit with respect to the character. Back to Stay Alive. I liked the overall story. It was great suspense and thrilling, so it was hard to put it aside (let alone, your wife or husband demands you’d care about him or her as much as you do about reading). I really enjoyed most of the protagonists being introduced, who all were characters of their own. It all starts with hunting a serial killer and takes a while before revealing the real story. As a regular thriller reader, I did have a hunch on what it was about, but only got a late confirmation on it. Although I think it is a great story to read, it does have some annoyances. For once, it employed quite a number of coincidences to make the story work. For example, Scope being at the right place at the perfect time on several occasions (on the escape by car, at the old guys house, at the farm, etc.). The second you only find out in the end, is a key scene from the beginning of the novel, which not only runs the whole story but turns out to be a deliberate deception of the reader the way it is written. No good style and a bit unfair to the reader. Still, I would barely hesitate to read more on Scope and other stories by Kernick. The writing is great, the story catching, and the characters splendid.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maha

    This book is absolutely incredible, the way it was written, how certain phrases and actions kept you hanging, everything about it is remarkably memorable. What I loved about it, is how the author gave the characters the right to outshine their actions. Kernick gave them the right to be complicated and to own that complexity so they can come to life and stand behind their beliefs. He doesn’t draw lines or limitations to their thinking or actions. I’m sure that at some point he let the characters This book is absolutely incredible, the way it was written, how certain phrases and actions kept you hanging, everything about it is remarkably memorable. What I loved about it, is how the author gave the characters the right to outshine their actions. Kernick gave them the right to be complicated and to own that complexity so they can come to life and stand behind their beliefs. He doesn’t draw lines or limitations to their thinking or actions. I’m sure that at some point he let the characters take lead rather than his words. Yet, he still gives them that vague background and inner flaws that they secretly come to embrace. In each character, we find the author taking the largest wound it has, and he glorifies it until it becomes something that we end up accepting and wanting to be something appealing to other characters. However, the plot on the other hand, is beyond intelligent. Those smart little gaps that he left so he can fill and the amazing link between all stories, I felt like I was reading multiple books at once which, surprisingly, wasn’t confusing at all. I loved every and each character, action that the author presented in ‘Stay Alive’. I would surely read ‘Stay Alive’ once more to appreciate what great work of art it is. At least to me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    2.5-3 stars Personally, I was a little disappointed with this book. Small bits of information characters shouldn't have known, did know. The writing itself I didn't find overly impressive. I didn't care an awful lot about the characters, especially Amanda, she annoyed me a lot. I liked reading the chapters with Detective Bolt alright, that was interesting but not so consistently high intensity to almost an unbelievable degree. I also didn't mind Jess' chapters even though she was in the thick of i 2.5-3 stars Personally, I was a little disappointed with this book. Small bits of information characters shouldn't have known, did know. The writing itself I didn't find overly impressive. I didn't care an awful lot about the characters, especially Amanda, she annoyed me a lot. I liked reading the chapters with Detective Bolt alright, that was interesting but not so consistently high intensity to almost an unbelievable degree. I also didn't mind Jess' chapters even though she was in the thick of it, maybe because I could relate to her as I'm only a year younger. The reveal at the end with Amanda I felt was a little sloppy, and could have been hinted at a little more as well. However, I do think my main problem was the writing itself I found wasn't overly brilliant, and a little over hyped. I found it more than once detached me from the characters and the story, which was a little irritating.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Neha Azhar

    I mostly rate books according to how much I enjoyed it rather than on technicalities, and I'm doing so today, too. I sped through this race-against-time thriller, my second book by Simon Kernick and definitely not my last. He has a knack for writing suspenseful, dangerous, heart-hammering crime novels and I'm loving them. There were certain points where I can say they seemed far-fetched but like I said, I enjoyed it too much to dwell upon things that don't matter to have a good time. Stay Alive was I mostly rate books according to how much I enjoyed it rather than on technicalities, and I'm doing so today, too. I sped through this race-against-time thriller, my second book by Simon Kernick and definitely not my last. He has a knack for writing suspenseful, dangerous, heart-hammering crime novels and I'm loving them. There were certain points where I can say they seemed far-fetched but like I said, I enjoyed it too much to dwell upon things that don't matter to have a good time. Stay Alive was the kind of book that left me agitated and on the proverbial edge of my seat, and I was racing through to get to the bottom of the mystery and sighed and smiled with satisfaction as the story came full circle. There were a couple of plot twists that I wasn't expecting too.

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