Fallout by Karla Forbes #BookReview #BlogTour

 

Blackmail. Complacency. A nuclear threat turned real. 

A group of unknown terrorists are blackmailing the British government with a quantity of plutonium left over from the Cold War.

Only one man knows their identity and can prevent a disaster, but he is on the run for a murder he didn’t commit and has no intention of being found.

Whilst the authorities attempt to track him down, they pin their hopes on the thought that a bunch of amateurs wouldn’t have knowledge of how to deal with nuclear technology, and the worst they could manage might be a dirty bomb. After all, everyone knows it’s not really that dangerous: people run away from the explosion, and the radiation drifts harmlessly into the atmosphere. 

But what if the terrorists had found a way to keep the radiation near to the ground, and to encourage people to hang around, breathing in death? What if when you invite them to their own slaughter, they come willingly? 

It would be dangerous then, wouldn’t it?

The clock is ticking…

It's such a pleasure to be starting off the blog tour for Fallout today. Many thanks to Karla Forbes, Dark Stroke and Emma Welton from damppebbles blog tours for inviting me and for my digital copy of the novel.

Fallout opens with a prologue which is set in 1979 and finds a German man, Hubner on board a capsizing fishing trawler en route to England from Rostock in East Germany. While everybody else on board is trying to escape, Hubner returns to his cabin to retrieve the heavy suitcase he has with him. However, the skipper of the boat has other ideas as he turns on the man he describes as a STASI pig.
The next scene also takes place on a boat but we are now in 2013 and on board a luxury sports cruiser belonging to successful banker, Nick Sullivan. He is with his best friend and boss, Tim Wellerby but it seems that Tim has something he needs to tell Nick and it looks as if this boat trip isn't going to end well either. Exactly how badly only becomes clear when the two men offer their help to a stricken powerboat. Nick's instincts tell him that the three men on board the rusting craft have something to hide and voices his concerns to Tim. Moments later he is horrified to discover just how right he was to be suspicious of these men and is soon fighting for his life.
The exciting opening is a fabulous introduction to this high-octane thriller and as Nick's life is turned completely upside down, he and the readers are scarcely given time to draw breath. His comfortable life with a platinum credit card, yacht and Aston Martin means nothing as he recognises the police don't believe his story and instead suspect that he is a killer. Realising his only hope is to find the men who are really guilty, he makes a bold decision to go on the run. I wasn't sure how I felt about Nick at first; that may be due in part to rich bankers not being naturally sympathetic characters but he also makes a visit to an old friend and by coercing his help by mentioning something in their past, I questioned what sort of man he really was. However, I soon found myself warming to him and enjoyed following a character who has to deal with a complete change in their circumstances.
While Nick desperately tries to hunt down the three men, they are busy putting another plan into action and it soon becomes evident that their intentions extend far beyond simple murder. These are brutal, uncompromising men and there are some horrific scenes here which underline just how cold and calculating they are. It's chilling to see how little they value the lives of others and as they work towards their end game, their ruthlessness is horrifying. The story effectively becomes two interlinked cat-and-mouse races against time; Nick doggedly pursues the killers while trying to evade capture by the grimly determined DI Mason, a man who isn't easily swayed when he decides somebody is guilty while the police and MI5 agent, Mark Anson try to hunt down the men who claim to have a dangerous stash of plutonium - and Nick is their only lead...
Although there are many who doubt Nick's story, Annelies Burdon decides to help him and I loved the inclusion of this strong-willed woman who, despite having feelings for Nick doesn't allow him to call all the shots. She has a less physical presence in the book as it progresses which makes sense for the plot and introduces further potential conflict but I must admit to missing the sparks that fly between the two. 
The multiple viewpoints allow the reader the privilege of following Nick, the villains, the police and more, including some of those unfortunate to fall victim to the gang's uncompromising plans. Having this overview really adds to the tension and as the strands of the storyline become ever more intertwined, the suspense becomes almost unbearable. I loved that this isn't merely a case of an innocent fugitive needing to clear his name or a daring plot to blackmail the Government but instead seamlessly combines what  would undoubtedly be two riveting action thrillers into one heart-pounding, rollercoaster of a read! I have no idea if the gang's plan is possible but that doesn't matter because it always feels plausible - as do the actions of the increasingly beaten down and clearly ill Nick -  and I was completely engrossed throughout.
Fallout is an excellent introduction to this series and is just what I'm looking for in action thrillers - a fast pace, a complex plot that kept my pulse racing, some welcome touches of humour amidst the drama and characters I believed in. The ending sets the scene perfectly for more and I'm intrigued to discover what lies in store for Nick Sullivan in the future.

Fallout was published in paperback, digital and audio formats on 6th October 2020 by Darkstroke, an imprint of Crooked Cat and can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.


About the Author
Karla Forbes first began writing books when she was twelve years old. Heavily influenced by Ian Fleming, she wrote about guns, fast cars and spies. Naturally, she knew nothing of her chosen subject and was forced to use her imagination to make it up as she went along. These books, half a dozen in total, ended up being thrown out with the rubbish. Several years later, she dabbled in a futuristic sitcom and a full length horror story. Although both of these efforts were also consigned to literary oblivion, at least no one could have accused her of being in a genre rut. 
She began writing properly more than twelve years ago and her first book, The Preacher was published on Amazon in July 2011. Thirteen books in total are available to download from the Amazon kindle book store. She writes about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations and she aims for unusual but scarily believable plots with a surprising twist.
She moved from Sussex to Scotland in 2020 and is enjoying the stunning scenery and friendly people but feeling less enthusiastic about the weather. 
Karla loves receiving your feedback so if you have the time, please place a review on the Amazon Kindle bookstore.

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