This thriller was a bit disappointing. Or maybe my expectations after the fantastic first book of this series were just way too high. I expected the main figure who had - again - to fight his personal demons. And there is a lot of that in this book. But the way it happened wasn´t as entertaining and haunting as hoped. But more to that later.

by Kathrin Lange
Faris Iskander Series #2
Publisher Blanvalet on March 16, 2015
Genre Thriller
Pages 413
Format Paperback
Source Publisher

What at first looks like a hostage-taking turns out to be a case of far-fetched personal dimensions for Faris: A man armed with an explosive belt delivers a message to him. It reads: “Next time you will press the trigger.” Faris can save his own life as the bomb explodes. But he does not know that an old enemy devised a devilish plan for him. And this adversary does not shy away from abduction or cold-blooded murder. After all, he wants to witness how Faris himself becomes an assassin … (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Faris is again in the precarious position of having to hunt down an unknown opponent. Not only that he is personally requested by the anonymous caller, no, he also feels guilty about the death of his old partner Paul. A dangerous feeling. Additional to that, it seems that an old and a new enemy obviously have fun torturing Faris, so he once again takes on the role of the self-sacrificing policeman.

Kathrin Lange uses a sometimes very blunt, brutal, and almost obscene language. Mostly it fits into the ongoing story very well, but during some scenes and dialogues, it went sharply above the level of what was thrilling to read. Another thing that started bothering me at some point was the fact, that the story itself is a very diversified and fascinating one, but the plot is boring and shows the same pictures all the time. Good, I get it that when the basis is extreme religiousness – “evangelical” called by experts – that you can´t change it into something completely different. But is it really necessary that a mostly peaceful religion is turned over and over again into something evil?

Don´t get me wrong here. I don´t mind if something is turned into something bad to make a thriller a thriller and to bring some pepper into the plot. Only that here it is always presented in the same way and style. And nothing changes. You see one scene, you´ve seen all of this book.

No doubt, Faris has to suffer a lot and his demons torture him. And that changes even the strongest man. He is a man with a very dark side and that side you don´t want to see out in the open. But that he believes that he is the only solution to any problem that comes across, that gets annoying. Yes, I see some changes in his character, after knowing the first book of this series. And I want and hope that I will see him keep changing. But in a way that is for the better and in a way that shows that despite all odds, he is a man who does what he does with a free will.

Sad to say it, but I clearly expected more from this thriller. I am sorry, but this is an average book that glides into an endless loop of fanaticism, radicalism, and insanity. Too bad, but this thriller was a faint sequel after a great start. Not sure if I will read the next one, and if yes, I hope it is way better than this one.

Happy reading

*This book was, at the time this review was published, only available in the German language.

Kathrin Lange
Kathrin Lange ©Susanne Kraus

Kathrin Lange was born in Goslar in 1969. Although she initially had plans to join the police dog squad, her love for books then won the day and she first became a bookseller and then a writer. Today she is a member of the International Thriller Writers and writes bestselling novels for adults and teenagers. She lives with her husband and two sons in a small village near Hildesheim in Lower Saxony, Germany.


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