For anyone who has experienced significant difficulties or heartache in their past, it is often recommended by others that they “move on.” “Forget about your past and start over”, they are told. This is actually pretty good advice for the most part. However, what happens when despite your best efforts to evade it… your past finally catches up with you? What then? In author Lewis Hasting’s novel Seventh, we are introduced to just such a scenario. For those readers who are looking for a book which puts the “thrill” in the word “thrilling”- you have come to the right place!
Seventh follows the life and escapades of Jack Cade. We are first introduced to him in New Zealand where he has settled down in an attempt to escape his prior life and make a fresh start. However, Jack soon discovers that it is not so easy to escape your past. The secret is that you need to have learned from it first. Having cut his teeth with the British Police a decade earlier, Jack had become renown for his skill, quick wits and pure determination. Having taken on a sophisticated and ruthless Eastern European crime syndicate, Jack had more than simply made a name for himself. He was admired and respected by his colleagues, while hated and despised by the criminal organization which was led by a true sociopathic killer. However, in the midst of his rise through the ranks, something had gone wrong. Very wrong indeed!
Fast forward ten years in time and this is where we find Jack in New Zealand trying his best to start anew. Nevertheless, when a beautiful woman with flaming red hair shows up on his doorstep, Jack Cade is about to learn the true meaning of juxtaposition and reprisal!
There can be little doubt that this is a complex, sophisticated and multi-layered crime thriller. It has boatloads of action which is sprinkled with bouts of intense romance and passion. The actual pacing of the novel is superb. Hastings takes his time when unveiling the raucous sequence of action events. Instead, we are first introduced to the main characters and able to get to know them and feel the depth and intensity of their relationships. This makes all the difference when it comes time to unload the frantic pace of action which is to follow. As readers, we already feel connected to the players. We care… and this makes the entire story that much more meaningful and engaging.
There is clearly a good versus evil theme running through this story. It is more than capably supported by the key elements of thriller writing such as suspense, anticipation and excitement. These elements permeate the tale and will keep the reader captivated and entranced from start to finish.
While the plotting of the story is outstanding, it would still fall flat if it was not supported by dynamic characters. Fortunately there are a whole host of characters in this book who are compelling, memorable and entirely believable. They are not simply your perfect heroes or villains. They are flawed at one moment and meritorious the next! Very well developed from start to finish. As the main protagonist, Jack Cade is the most charismatic and engaging, but he is supported by a host of characters who develop and grow steadily throughout the piece.
I truly found this to be an engrossing thriller. The writing style is excellent and I found it difficult to put this book down. I was literally glued to the pages from start to finish! I would give this novel my highest recommendation. As this is Book One of a Trilogy, I will absolutely be going back for a second and third helping!
5 out of 5 Gripping Stars for this one!