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Author: Alan McDermott
Released: 8th July 2011
My Rating: ★★★★ (4 out of 5)
Gray Justice is the fast-paced debut thriller from Alan McDermott. It tells the story of Tom Gray, an ex-soldier running a successful business until his world falls apart. His young son is killed by a joy rider and his wife, overcome with grief, takes her own life months later. When his son’s killer walks free from court, Gray decides that the current justice system needs an overhaul, and kidnaps five serial offenders. Parading them on the internet, he lets the people of Britain decide if they should live or die, and the government are powerless to stop him. Gray believes he has the perfect plan, right down to the last detail, but one man travels four thousand miles to prove him wrong in an explosive climax.
Gray Justice admittedly is the first thriller I’ve read. I took the liberty of researching themes and aspects common in the thriller genre. This novel ticked most boxes. Most is a good thing, because a novel doesn’t have to contain every single component of a genre to belong.
Alan McDermott started and ended the novel brilliantly; there is a tension and a sense of intense anticipation from the off. For me, however, this was lost somewhere between the opening few chapters and the last couple. By the time I reached the last chapter I was laughing at myself; McDermott had rocketed the tension sky high.
The third person panoramic viewpoint was a brilliant choice as the reader knew something would go awry before it did. I found myself wishing I could communicate with the ‘good guys’ and pre-warn them about it. This is something I’ve not experienced before, and I congratulate McDermott for being able to do this.
As well as the drop in tension, my only other fault with this was the main character, Tom Gray. After so long I began to think he was too perfect. At the beginning of the novel, you find out his motivations and that his past is blemished but apart from that there wasn’t anything wrong with him. He was highly-trained, intelligent, patient, calm, selfless, supposedly good looking and had the most loyal friends I’ve ever read about.
I do recommend reading Gray Justice though as it is superbly written and extremely well thought out.
If it wasn’t for those two faults, this probably would have been my second five-star review.