77 North by DL Marshall

77 North is the third book by DL Marshall to feature John Tyler, and though you could read it as a standalone the plot would make more sense if you started at the beginning with Anthrax Island. With everyone now thinking he is dead, Tyler is pursuing those responsible for his brother’s death when he is ‘persuaded’ to go on one last mission. Sent to an abandoned Soviet-era hotel in the far reaches of Siberia, to obtain information and rescue a scientist, he faces some of the most inhospitable conditions on the planet. Has he walked into a trap? Who, if anyone, can he trust?

In the present day, the story is told from Tyler’s perspective, but he keeps some things close to his chest that we only discover as the mystery is unravelled, slowly, layer by layer. There are flashbacks to French Equatorial Africa in 1999, where we meet a young John Tyler but don’t know if the two strands of the plot are connected or not.

There are lots of action sequences and car chases where your heart will be in your mouth. The characters are fully rounded with several strong females, and the settings are vividly brought to life, especially the perpetual darkness and sub-zero temperatures in Siberia. Every time you think you have worked out what is going on, the author pulls the rug out from under you and makes you second guess what you think you know – everyone is under suspicion at some point in the narrative. The artwork on the cover is eyecatching, and is different from the usual generic covers of thrillers like this.  I don’t know if this is the final John Tyler book or not, but I hope he comes back and look forward to reading his next adventure. Thanks to Canelo and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.