The Killing Grounds by Jack Ford
Published June 29th 2017 by HQ
IF THE TRUTH DIES…. HE’LL KILL HER ALL OVER AGAIN.
Ex-US Navy-turned-investigator Thomas J. Cooper is tortured by the past.
A deadly fight with Somali pirates and a tragic accident at sea have left him struggling with PTSD and an addiction to prescription drugs.
When he and his colleague Maddie return to the Democratic Republic of Congo to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a plane, what they find is far more sinister and dangerous…
No slow burning introduction today…. This book was INCREDIBLE!
Set between the US and the Democratic Republic of Congo it follows Thomas Cooper a ‘Private Investigator’ working for a firm locating high-priced items across the globe for banks and the government. Cooper suffering from severe PTSD after a traumatic event, told in chapter 1, and battling with grief, depression and addiction Cooper is assigned a trip to the DRC to locate a plane and return it to the US. Along with his team of colleagues he goes to the politically disruptive and dangerous county but they find much more than they bargained for.
The story flits back and forth between Tom and his team and the president (an old family friend), occasionally connecting the two with the story lines eventually combining.
Genre wise I would class this as a political mystery/thriller, I have never read a book with such strong political themes and it’s not something I would usually read but it definitely gave the book another aspect and I will no doubt love to read more political thrillers in the future.
My favorite thing about the book was the dual settings, having also never read a book based in the DRC. I loved the contrasting settings and how vastly different they were to each other. Every time Tom came back from the DRC it gave me a great chance to catch my breath and unwind from the tensions of the jungle.
I really enjoyed the religious and ritualistic themes and it has definitely spiked my interest in the subject, it was fascinating.
Although good at heart, valiant and determined Tom himself was not the most likable character. his self-destructive path paired with denial over PTSD made for some frustrating scenes as family and friends give him numerous ‘get it together’ lectures. As annoying and pathetic as Tom could be the secondary characters were amazing. Maddie, his long-suffering wife was so bad ass, juggling motherhood and her ridiculous husband with fighting black magic in the Congo. Rosedale, sent by the president to keep an eye on Tom was big and brash and so entertaining. He brought some great needed humor to the serious plot. Other characters include Tom’s oldest friend Jackson, after going through the same trauma, suffering horrific life changing injures, and battling being the Presidents son. The suicidal Jackson and Tom have the most beautiful caring relationship based purely on their love for one another. Tom’s old friend Levi, his boss, Beau his uncle and the president can also be found tolerating Tom Cooper and his destructive yet heroic ways.
It is very rare that you can find a book that is so character driven yet with such an amazing setting and engaging story line. I wasn’t initially planning on reading the book so soon, but thought I would read the first chapter to see what it was like… I finished the book 2 days later.
Finally one of the best things about this book is that it’s the start of a series!!
I have a huge book hangover since finishing The Killing Grounds and I would recommend the book to any fan of thrillers or mysteries looking for a deep, intelligent, engaging read with dual settings and a great group of characters.
5 STAR read
You can check out the authors… HERE
Thank you NetGalley, HQ & Jack Ford
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THANK YOU FOR READING