The Chair Man by Alex Pearl

The Chair ManThe Chair Man by Alex Pearl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A gripping thriller from start to finish...

Thriller is a genre that uses suspense, tension, and excitement as its main elements. They stimulate the reader by giving them a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, anxiety and terror. A thriller usually has highs and lows in the story keeping readers on the edge of their seat, wondering what will happen next or how the hero/heroine will overcome the antagonist's latest evil doings. The plots are scary, the characters are at great risk and they make the reader really want to turn the pages.

The Chair Man by Alex Pearl is a thriller that does all of the above… and more. It’s a superbly written and richly descriptive novel with brilliantly drawn characters and settings. The threads of storytelling are expertly woven in this thriller and suspense that it guarantees the attention of the reader. Skillfully constructed and set against the backdrop of the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, this thriller had me turning the pages from beginning to end. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘Michael Hollinghurst is a successful corporate lawyer living a comfortable, suburban life in leafy North West London. But on 7 July 2005, his life is transformed when he steps on a London underground train targeted by Islamist suicide bombers. While most passengers in his carriage are killed, Michael survives the explosion but is confined to a wheelchair as a result… Coming to terms with his predicament and controlling his own feelings of guilt as a survivor conspire to push him in a direction that is out of character and a tad reckless. In a quest to seek retribution, he resorts to embracing the internet and posing as a radical Islamist in order to snare potential perpetrators… Much to his surprise, his shambolic scheme yields results and is brought to the attention of both GCHQ and a terrorist cell. But before long, dark forces begin to gather and close in on him. There is seemingly no way out for Michael Hollinghurst. He has become, quite literally, a sitting target.’

I enjoyed the story, character development, and dialogue. There were plenty of plot twists that I didn’t see coming and that added to the book’s mystique. When I stopped reading to work, I found myself wondering what happened in the book, and replaying parts of the novel in my head to see if I could figure more out. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book this much. It’s a first-class thriller with perfect pacing. Not much is as it appears here, which is just the way fans of thriller and suspense will want it. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and highly recommended it. A well-deserved five stars from me.

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