Thursday, 26 July 2018
ANTHONY NEIL SMITH - THE CYCLIST (2018)
A failed marine, Judd can't believe his luck when Catriona falls for him. He lives in Minnesota; she's from Scotland. They work for the same company, they've messaged online for ages. But when they finally video chat, she turns out to be gorgeous. They may be thousands of miles apart, but they share a deep love of cycling and a passion for life. It's love at first sight.
Judd throws his meager savings to the wind and flies across the Atlantic to meet Cat in person. Together, they plan a bike trip through the desolate Scottish Highlands. Perfect for cycling. Camping out. Being alone. But soon Judd discovers there's more to Cat than meets her alluring brown eyes.
What Judd doesn't know is that someone is following them. Someone with sinister plans. Their lonely journey through the Highlands turns into a game of cat and mouse. Someone is making them ride for their lives. But who exactly is the hunter, and who is the hunted?
A bit different from previous books I've read from this author and no bad thing either. No one wants to read the same thing time after time. Man meets women over the internet, a bit of casual flirting ensues. Judd isn't too happy with his life in Minnesota, so heads for Scotland and Catriona. Catriona shares his love of cycling and could be his ideal match. Anthony Neil Smith goes all Mills and Boon with a passionate and fulfilling romance destined to end in a happy ever after. Yeah right.
Minnesota, Scotland, cycling, romance(s) - of the mental health issues, twisted variety, an unlikely friendship or brotherhood borne through shared military service, even if things didn't quite go to plan, loyalty, disappointment, unfulfilled expectations, and several life or death struggles for our four main combatants - the other two who you'll meet when you read the book for yourself.
Lots here to like - thrills, spills, violence, torture, woodland pursuits, Navy Seal survival skills on display, crossbow action, a decent pace and plot with fleshed out characters and back story that had me totally engaged. That the author delivered all this in under 200 pages was an added bonus.
Unsurprisingly things don't go well for all of our combatants. Not your regular guy meets gal love story.
4.5 from 5
Fortunately for me I have plenty more from Smith on the TBR pile.
Since the blog started I've enjoyed - All the Young Warriors (2013) and To the Devil, My Regards (with Victor Gischler) (2017)
Read in July, 2018
Published - 2018
Page count - 190
Source - review copy via Net Galley, courtesy of publisher Bastei Entertainment
Format - ePUB