For anyone with time on their hands during the warm spell we’re currently experiencing, Grave Island is the latest gripping thriller to keep you hooked as you laze around and lap up the sunshine. Spy novels are all the rage right now, and as far as espionage tales go Andrew Smyth’s tale of counterfeit drugs and one man’s desperate quest to stop this vicious trade is as intense as they come.
Beginning with the disgrace of Philip Hennessey, an army intelligence officer with a troubled past, following a set-up that sees him lose his career, Grave Island, leads the reader straight into a devilish mystery. When an old friend of his former wife comes knocking to plead for help following the death of her father, Hennessey is drawn into a quest to find a consignment of counterfeit vaccinations before they wreak untold havoc.
Faced with multiple challenges, including the issue of his downfall and the planting of false evidence, Hennessey is diligent and determined as he hunts down a consignment of fake vaccines that could impact the lives of thousands.
Throughout the novel I have the sense that there is a serious understatement to it all. After all, Smyth is depicting a scandal on a global scale that could potentially affect millions, yet his protagonist is, largely, calm and collected, or certainly less panicked than anyone I can think of would be in such a situation. Nonetheless, Hennessey is a strong central character, with his supporting cast equally strong as they lie, cheat and deceive their way through this fast paced novel.
Overall, I was impressed by Grave Island. I enjoyed the pace of the storyline and the intensity of Smyth’s characters as they race against time to stop a global massacre. There is a constant tension throughout the narrative that is completely compelling, drawing the reader through to the nail-biting conclusion and leaving you wanting more.