Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Review: 'Son of a Gun' by Lee Ness

British author and coach Lee Ness writes fiction and non-fiction books and his articles appear in Athletics Weekly, on speedendurance.com and on stack.com. Lee is head coach at City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club. His first book THE SPORTS MOTIVATION MASTERPLAN passes on the experience of many years coaching athletes in multiple sports. His second book, GROWTH: USING THE MINDSET MODEL FOR SPORTING SUCCESS is a mini-book aimed at parents, coaches and athletes. His fiction novels include HOPLITE (in 6 Parts) and D.E.M. - Deus ex Machina – the first book now of what appears to be another series – D.E.M.- Quid Pro Quo. Lee is a polished fiction writer. Like D.E.M.: DEUS EX MACHINA, this second installment is a thriller and a suspense story that is very much a picture of today - the influence of the Internet on the way we manipulate our lives and are manipulated by others whose input is not always constructive. Now he offers SON OF A GUN, his newest light in his impressive spectrum of mystery books.

Style he has, and the courage to terrify us in his opening paragraphs: ‘The torso of the target hovered dead centre of the reticle. This wasn’t the precise aiming point I would use at the time I took the shot, but it was a good reference point until I was ready. I’d done the distance calculations using the mil dots of the reticle. It was unnecessary because I’d used the range finder when I’d selected this spot and the scope had been zeroed for the six-hundred metre range, but I always liked to use both methods just in case. Measure twice, cut once. The range had been dialled into the sight so I had no need to adjust vertical aiming position. I only needed to take the wind into account. I could see the small flag I had placed on the top of a building nearby with a flick of my eyes upwards and to the left. From the slight ripple of the silk, I estimated the wind at 8mph left to right. At this level and range, I knew it was equivalent to four MOA, minutes of angle. There were 3.375 MOA in a mil on the reticle, so I adjusted my aiming point a tiny amount over a mil to the left to compensate. I lay prone with the CheyTac Intervention M300 stretched out in front of me on a bipod. It was a perfect rifle for this range. My cheek rested on the stock and my right elbow rested on the mat I’d laid on the ground to make things comfortable. I had my left arm folded in front of me with my left hand on my right shoulder in a classic sniper position for a rifle with a bipod. It wasn’t like the movies of course, where the sniper usually holds the hand guard under the barrel. I took two deep breaths and let my body relax. I had a stable platform and didn’t need to be tense to hold the aim. The time had come. I took one more breath in and then slowly exhaled as I took the tension on the trigger. A pressure slowly built on my temple like the start of a headache. It wasn’t a jab that would make me jerk away, just a steadily increased force. It wasn’t there and then it was. It shouldn’t have been there though. It felt out of place, but it was unmistakable. Someone had pressed the barrel of a pistol to the side of my head. A cold calmness descended on my like a cool shower on a hot day as I slowed my breathing. I needed to figure out a way to restore some semblance of control. That wasn’t easy when I’m laid on the floor with a gun to my head. “That’s impressive,” I said. “To get this close without me hearing you.”

But to enter this new adventure Lee offers the following: ‘He was known as Eidolon - in Ancient Greek literature the name means an apparition, phantom, ghost. It is the name given to the world's most feared assassin. No-one knows who he is, where he comes from, what he looks like or even how to contact him. Until now. John King has lived in the shadows for a decade. No-one can find him because he has no history. Not one that could be traced anyway. He was just a normal person who chose the life he led. No government or military background to discover. He chose his own targets and always staying off the radar. He was a nobody that had a very unique skill set. That's why he became known as Eidolon. He was a nobody. But all that has now changed. Someone wants Eidolon dead. The truth was that many people want him dead, but someone has found him and now the hunter has become the hunted. Suddenly, the loner is no longer alone. He has to rely on others for help. He has a woman he is now responsible for and feelings for her threaten his impenetrable barriers. He's left reeling by the changes. He's no longer in control and everywhere he goes someone is out to kill him to claim the $10million ransom that's now on his head. There is only one thing he can do. Take back control and become the hunter again......’

This novel takes a decidedly new direction for Lee Ness and it is quite successful. Lee's economical writing style manages to pull the reader through this series of dilemmas and intrigues that the book is over in what seems under an hour! Lee Ness has created and enviable position in being able to teach through his non-fiction books and enthrall through his fiction. He has a heady career blossoming. Grady Harp, November 17
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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