Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.
A terrorist group calling itself the Army of Thieves captures Dragon Island, a long forgotten relic of the Cold War and the site of a devastating super weapon built by the Soviets. This is bad news for just about everyone, because the Thieves want to use said super weapon to violently re-shape the world order. Only maverick marine Shane ‘Scarecrow’ Schofield relocated to the Arctic and assigned to a scientific testing detail after a little local difficulty with the French secret services can save the day.
Matthew Reilly seems to take what you might call a ‘Spinal Tap’ approach to creating his books, where other writers turn the action dial up to ten he has to go one better and turn it to eleven; that’s probably what makes them so infectiously readable.
Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves is action-adventure writing in the tradition of Alistair MacLean and Clive Cussler. A violent fantasy world where villainy is something plotted on an epic scale and the only way the good guys escape from trouble is by a hair’s breadth.
Some readers might not take to that sort of thing because it is too escapist for their tastes, if so they’re making a big mistake. This is a thoroughly well written book, not despite; but precisely because its author is unashamedly out to entertain.
Matthew Reilly shows a truly remarkable ability for finding brutally inventive uses for high tech weaponry and devising ever tighter corners for his little band of heroes to escape from. The sheer energy with which he keeps things moving along prevented this reader from asking too many awkward ‘yes but’ questions about the plot until it had involved me to the point where I no longer much wanted to ask them.
Reilly has created a cast of hugely likable recurring characters and in this book lays down the seeds of plot twists and friendly rivalries that could run and run. This book is the work of a writer who is clearly having a ball; any reader willing to come along for the ride is likely to have one too.