BOOK REVIEW: Hellfire by Chris Ryan

Chris Ryan Hellfire

Nerve Online reviews Chris Ryan’s latest fiction book looking at the rising threat of ISIS

Words by Matt Winlow, edited by Rebecca Pates

It’s all around us.

All you have to do is turn on the TV and there will be a story about the developing crisis in the Middle-East and Islamic State.

This is a book that tells a story about our world right now, it’s a scary and worrying window into how our world could change in an instant. Chris Ryan has always been applauded for his detail, being a former member of the SAS provides him with the inside knowledge to create an exciting piece of fiction and he certainly has with Hellfire.

The book follows an SAS team, lead by Danny Black, who are deployed to Nigeria to recover two British government workers kidnapped by terror group Boko Haram. Whilst on the operation, events lead the team to finding a bio-weapon that is planned to be used on the West. To stop the attack, Black and his team have to locate the person co-ordinating the attack, the Caliph.

Before I read the book, I expected it would be one of those all-guns-blazing pieces of writing. However, Ryan has managed to include real life events and references that we are all familiar with seeing on the news into his fiction, some of which include the British extremist Jihadi John and horrific acts from the African terror group Boko Haram, which for me, made it such a gripping read. I don’t read a great deal, but I finished this book within four days, I just couldn’t put it down!

One of the reasons this book was so exciting was the number of different plots that ran alongside each other, but all concluded together at the end. A couple of years ago, I watched a series called Strike Back on Sky1 that was based on Chris Ryan’s novels, reading this book felt like watching this programme again. The suspense and action came at the right moments and wasn’t constant. He set up characters well, and although I haven’t read the other books in the series, I engaged with the characters from the first sentence.

This isn’t a book for the faint-hearted, there are some very graphic scenarios that Ryan writes about which did make me wince several times. That said, it doesn’t shy away from the terrible actions that are being conducted by extremist groups at the moment.

If you are someone that has a keen interest in what’s happening in the world at the moment, read this book. It will not disappoint you.