When I made the classic mistake of not bringing a book with me for a train journey, I truly wasn’t expecting to find a gem of a book that I whimsically picked up because it was half price. Siege is such a gem; written by Simon Kernick it is a suspense thriller that masterfully interweaves several characters’ storylines to create the overall storyline.
The story centres on events at a fictional hotel in Park Lane called the Stanhope, where a group of terrorists take over the hotel, in order to wreak havoc on the British government. Different strands of the storyline filter together exploring different characters including the terrorists, the commanding officer at the hotel, the hotel manager, and a number of the hotel guests including a terminally ill man who came to commit suicide in the hotel and an assassin who gets caught up in the day’s events.
I have a number of Simon Kernick’s books and I have to say this is a fantastic read – I stormed through half of it on a train journey to London and back, and managed to finish the entire book within a week of purchasing it. I literally couldn’t put it down, and rooted for a lot of the characters to make it out alive and well. There is also an interesting afterword from Simon Kernick on his inspiration for the book and the process he went through writing the novel: plus a extract from his next book which includes a couple of characters from this book.
I urge you all to go find this book – short chapters, snappy writing, interesting characters and a book which will leave you completely gripped.
“The man we’re speaking to made some pretty major demands…but at no point did he do what almost all hijackers and hostages do when they’re trapped. He didn’t ask for safe passage out….Which suggest to me that neither he, nor they, have any intention of leaving that place alive.” (Siege, p.225)