Like the others of Kernick's books i have read, this was zipped through in one or two sittings, the sole difference being the time of day when i pick it is and what commitments i have over the next four to six hours. The essential theme of the plot was taken from the events in Mumbai in the autumn of 2009 when terrorists attacked and took control of several buildings there; here, the action is transported to London, and the motivations of the criminals are not so transparent or unitary, as there are some who appear to be terrorists of a vaguely Middle-Eastern variety but others who are acting solely for financial gain.
Kernick has the knack of creating characters and giving us sufficient information about them and their situation that we become sympathetic to them, which obviously is and excellent ability for a writer of suspense novels as he can ratchet up the suspense by worrying us about the future of the characters we have been taught to like. I find that, although once started i have to read the book as fast as i can, once done i am satiated for the foreseeable future with the level of tension he creates. This is good, i suppose, as it means that i am in no hurry to rush and find another of Kernick's books but, in some months or more, if i come across one as they are rotated around the various branches of the Powys library system, i can be free to pick it up and have another race for the end.
Speaking of the Powys library, the most annoying thing about this book was a part of the the physical artefact itself: Whoever covered it for the library did a less than perfect job, so that the dust-cover and its plastic protection were not correctly folded around the front cover. I constantly found myself trying to adjust it, to make it fit properly, but it was not possible to do so. Mind you, i am aware that this may say more about me than the book!