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Timebomb Reviews

These reviews were submitted on www.amazon.co.uk and elsewhere on the Internet, and have been edited only to correct spelling mistakes.

"Like many other readers I found the previous Richter novel, Foxbat, a disappointment (it was good, but not that good). Timebomb is a return to top form, the plot is full of twists and turns, great action scenes, CIA conspiracies and a really inventive story line. In creating Paul Richter, the author has created a British Jason Bourne and at the same time, surpassed Bourne. This book is great, probably my favourite Richter story so far, more like it please!"

"Timebomb is a definite improvement on James Barrington's previous Paul Richter novel Foxbat, but doesn't quite hit the heights of either Pandemic or Overkill. The plot of Timebomb is certainly more believable than Foxbat and Barrington doesn't have to stretch credibility to breaking point simply to keep Richter at the centre of events (although finding yourself caught up in two separate seemingly unrelated shootouts in the space of two days might be viewed as either highly unlikely or very very unlucky).
        Where it doesn't quite cut the mustard is in depth. This is very much an action driven, 'what you see is what you get' affair. There is little sense of place, despite the action taking place in three different Euopean countries, no attempt at atmosphere and characterisation is kept to such a minimum that I am hard pressed a week later to remember any of the supporting cast. Even Richter, who has at least had three previous novels to establish himself, gets nothing in the way of real development.
        I get the impression that Barrington would like Richter to be a character in the the vein of Harry Palmer, Len Deighton's hero imortalised on film by Michael Caine. Richter has the same outwardly cynical, anti-establishment cool about him. He even has the upper-class pencil pushing boss who barely tolerates him. If however, Richter is ever going to rise to the status of Palmer (or even Bond) Barrington is going to have to develop his character beyond showing that he has a liking for fast, limited edition sports cars. A general sketch is enough for a few books, but after a while readers want to start investing in a reoccurring character and want know more about him or her. Timebomb is a missed opportunity to give Richter more depth and is weaker for it.
        Still as a pure action thriller it still has what it takes. Events move at lightning pace, there aren't too many plot holes (although the 'hidden conspiracy' maguffin stretches credibility and is rather old hat) and its has a solid race against time element to keep you hooked. As a holiday or airplane read its excellent. I just hope that for Richter's next outing Barrington decides to give him and the the other characters around him the chance to breathe a little more."

"I was very disappointed with James Barrington's last Paul Richter novel, Foxbat, but this is a blistering return to form. There's more Richter, Simpson, terrorists and, most importantly, action most of which I felt was lacking in Foxbat. This was very similar to the books of Vince Flynn with secret government agencies, terror attacks, nasty baddies and a no-nonsense hard-man spy. I read this book in a day as I was constantly turning the pages to see what was coming next and because I was enjoying it immensely."

"This is the fourth James Barrington novel I have read, and I have enjoyed all of them. If like me you are fan of Craig Thomas you will like James Barrington. The only faults I can find with his books are no female characters appear and a lack of character description. Still a good read."

"I have to be honest and say I was really looking forward to this one, had it on order for weeks and, because I was at home on holiday, was reading it within an hour of delivery. Timebomb is the author's fourth book to feature the sardonic and ruthless Richter and his weary sarcastic boss, Simpson. Both are part of British intelligence and in Timebomb we have Richter chasing terrorists in Europe and finding that there is a 'big event' planned for London. Can he stop it in time and find out who is really behind events? This moves at blistering pace as the bits of the jigsaw come together and Richter is at his best, a fantastic character placed in a very British environment where things are a bit more formal and basic then the typical American intelligence agencies. Recommended. How long to wait to the next one? Does the author want to test his readers?!!!"

 

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Last modified: Tuesday, 27 January 2009