Author: Simon Kernick
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
London is under attack. An unknown number of its citizens are dead. Many more lives hang in the balance as a group of highly trained gunmen storm the luxurious Stanhope Hotel on Park Lane, demanding the government meet their requests within five hours—or they will blow up the building and everyone still inside it.
Shots ring out. Some guests panic. Others text their loved ones. A few try to escape. All are united by their desire to live. And at the center of it all is one man who has information so dangerous that it must be kept safe—at any price.
Darkness falls. The gunmen become increasingly violent. One question is on everyone’s mind: Will any of them survive the night?
A copy was provided through NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
I usual don't pick up books like these. Only once in a blue moon, and it was Siege's turn this time. I picked this one up because I thought it would be really suspenseful and I'm a sucker for awesome thrillers. With a line like this:
"Shots ring out. Some guests panic. Others text their loved ones. A few try to escape. All are united by their desire to live. And at the center of it all is one man who has information so dangerous that it must be kept safe—at any price."
How could I not pick it up?
Unfortunately it didn't quite live up to my expectations. While I was still fully engaged in the book and the story that was being told, it somehow lacked that suspense I had been craving. Maybe it was all just too predictable? I could tell there would be no real tragedies, no real out of control moments where it would all go to hell. Because even though it did have it's moments it all felt entirely too choreographed. The plot line about the man with dangerous information felt cheap. It was over and done with so quickly that Kernick might as well not have put it in at all. So for a book that was supposed to bring about a sense of suspense and thrill it fell short.
But this isn't just about a cheap thrill. It's supposed to be about the terror these people felt and about how one seemingly incongruous decision could completely alter their lives. How they were able to eventually overcome their terror and save themselves and learnt to truly live. But, somehow, it fell short again. Yes it did convey this message at the end, but the feelings weren't quite there. The terror and worry that I was supposed to feel towards all these people just wasn't there. I just couldn't muster much of anything towards these characters except a sense of irony towards the wannabe suicide victim. Actually the whole thing was pretty ironic, because if it weren't for the outcasts of society, none of them would have made it out. I just found that to be pretty funny.
So, for a book that's categorized as a thriller, I'm gonna have to say it failed at it. Not completely, but not enough either. It was still an interesting and engaging read nonetheless.