Jenn's Review: If you've been reading our blog long, you know that we are huge Meg Gardiner fans. She is an expert at weaving a thrilling tale and this one is right up there with the rest. I was devastated at the end of Crosscut, and while Kill Chain made me feel a little better, I'm still agonizing over the plight of Evan Delaney. Honestly, I think that's the true test of a writer of any fictional genre... can you make the reader care so much about your character's so much that they think of them as real people? With Meg Gardiner's stories, you can't help it.
I was getting a little frustrated with Evan for her inability to stay out of trouble, but lately trouble seems to find her. The one thing I adore about Evan (here I go again, discussing her as though she were real) is the fact that she doesn't wait around for things to be taken care of, but jumps in with both feet whether she has all the facts or not. She would do anything for those she loves, which is what makes this book particularly heart-wrenching.
The story is solid and while there is little room to catch your breath there is always Ms. Gardiner's droll sarcasm to help lighten the mood a little. I was slightly dismayed at the fact that this book is left so open-ended, because I feared that it might be the last book in the series - this book was published in 2008 and since then Ms. Gardiner has turned her attention to another fantastic series, Jo Beckett. However, Ms. Gardiner assured us that this is not the end of the road for the Delaney series, so I can breathe a little easier. Evan actually makes an appearance in Gardiner's latest Jo Beckett book, The Nightmare Thief - I actually bought this book the day of it's release but held off on reading it, because I wanted to be up to date with Evan.
I don't want to say too much more about the book for fear of spoiling things, but I loved how we got some answers to questions that have been plaguing Evan for a while, even though they only brought more questions. This is a fabulous series and Kill Chain is a spectacular addition to it. I'd say it's my second favorite book in the series. I can't get enough of her work, and if you love thrillers, with kick-butt women, Meg Gardiner's books are for you!
Jenn's Final Take: 4.75/5
Julie's Review: So, in my opinion this was the best Evan Delaney novel yet. Did it have a doozy of an ending and a heart-wrenching cliff-hanger? Yes, but that doesn't mean I can't love the book. Evan is a character that at times I want to shake her and other times I truly admire her moxie. This time, I admired her moxie. Once she figures out that her dad is in trouble, she springs into action regardless of how much trouble she could end up in. For Evan, she was the only one who could get her dad back, so who cared about pesky laws that might inhibit her.
What is so great about Ms. Gardiner's writing is that she always keeps you on the edge of your seat and always keeps you guessing. This is a high-octane plot line that never slows down. I love anything that deals with spying, covert operations and the government, so this plot was right up my alley.
Phil Delaney was in the military or so Evan thought but little did they know he was in intelligence as well. We first get a good glimpse of Phil in Crosscut, when he reveals a government program gone wrong. This time, his past has caught up with him and put him in harms way. Kill Chain also brings back into the mix Jax Rivera and Tim North.
Just when I think I had the whole thing figured out, Meg Gardiner pulls a fast one and throws another twist into it. I pretty much knew where the ending was headed and yet still it brought tears to my eyes. I can't say that I don't understand Evan's reaction, but I'm wondering if it's fair and just. I'm also wondering where Evan goes from here. What's next for her? I know she turns up in The Nightmare Thief with Jo Beckett but I've got to get up to speed on that series; pronto.
I highly recommend anything by Meg Gardiner but I do think it serves the series justice if you start at the beginning with Evan in China Lake. You will want to quickly read the others in the series.
Julie's Final Take: 4.75/5