By Amazon Customer on January 27, 2016
A terrific read! ‘Helter Skelter’ is the first of a series of novels featuring Mark Skelter, an experienced, very likeable SAS sergeant dealing with demons of his past. In this book he is involved in a mission to rescue hostages being held in Somalia. But the plot thickens! (No spoilers here).
Pereira writes intelligently and fluently; he draws the reader into the action by developing several aspects of the plotline simultaneously, thereby creating tension and intrigue. His characters are well-drawn and developed, adding colour and veracity to the story.
The action sequences are particularly well written; Pereira presumably draws on his personal experiences with the SAS. His touch is light, his humour evident, and he introduces some surprising twists to this tale of derring-do. Overall a most satisfying read, fast-paced and engaging.
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Carole Hazell‘s review
Jan 29, 16
really liked it
Read from January 26 to 27, 2016
A few days lounging by the pool; I needed a book to read, something fast-paced, with a good plot and interesting characters. Helter Skelter exceeded my expectations!
First, this is not at all the genre of book I usually read, so it is difficult to offer comparisons with similar stories. However, having occasionally dipped into Jack Reacher & Harry Bosch adventures, I can confidently state that the narrative in Helter Skelter is superior (although more proof reading & editing is recommended), and the characters more convincing.
The plot is very well constructed, with enough twists throughout to keep interest high and pace sustained. I found it hard to put down, and finished the book (316 pages) in 3 sessions on the sunlounge. I like the way the author keeps several storylines going simultaneously without at any time confusing the reader. He writes the action scenes particularly well; the writing throughout is informed, engaging, and often humorous.
The characters are well-developed; the main protagonist, Mark Skelter, is a man of action, but also sympathetic and enigmatic: what is his mysterious background? Pereira has created a character who will no doubt continue to thrill with his adventures. He would translate well to the screen, large or small.
My overall rating is 4 star; I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast-paced action adventure written by someone who is very familiar with the scenarios, locations and presumably also the characters described. I look forward to reading the sequel!
Disclosure: I know the author. At no time has he asked me to read or review Helter Skelter. I chose to buy it and read it. My review is objective & hopefully helpful!
In the Steven Leather class exciting and a good holiday read.”
Helter Skelter is the first in a series of novels about SAS sergeant, Mark Skelter, who is self-medicating on Valium for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lucy Ryder, his first date since the killing of his wife by an IRA bomb ten years ago, is the daughter of a ‘retired’ SAS Brigadier. She is at the opposite end of the social scale to Skelter.
The date is cut short when his team is dispatched to Somalia, on a hostage rescue mission. One hostage holds secrets vital to Britain’s national security, the other, the key to Skelter’s PTSD. Skelter’s orders are to kill one and save the other. If he knew the truth he might well do the opposite. A wrong decision could destroy his last chance for happiness with Lucy. Throw a tropical storm into the mix and the plan unravels with more twists and turns than a roll of razor wire.
I’ve recently finished Helter Skelter (Volume 1), the latest treat by Stuart Pereira, and am happy to say it’s the best so far. His short story collection entitled Snap Shots already showed his talent for narration, and his South Atlantic Soldier (reviewed by me elsewhere) was a novel-length saga of the effects of war on Special Forces personnel and those related to them by bonds of family or friendship. I would not be surprised if Helter Skelter were soon to become the object of a British (or American) television series: the narrative is so deftly interwoven that the reader/viewer is drawn inexorably into short sequences that prove to be interconnected in ways that constantly surprise, intrigue, terrify, titillate, making for a read one cannot put down. The characters, some endearing, others utterly despicable, and their interrelationships, are expertly delineated and evolve in reaction to countless surprises that keep you on the edge of your easy chair. The ending is both a resolution and a brilliant hinting at another roller-coaster ride in Volume 2.”