China Strike by Matt Rees

China Strike by Matt ReesChina Strike by Matt Rees
Published by Crooked Lane Books on July 11th 2017
Genres: Technology, Thriller
Pages: 320
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley

On an ordinary summer day, chaos erupts across the globe when thousands of cars simultaneously speed out of control in the United States and Europe. The death toll is enormous, and there is only one thing connecting the crashes--every single car is the same model.
Amidst the bewilderment of the tragedy, ICE Special Agent Dominic Verrazzano is called to the Brooklyn Detention Center, where Tom Frisch, recently arrested for attempting to assassinate a U.N. President, claims to have knowledge about the mastermind behind the crashes. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and an even bigger catastrophe, involving many more motor companies, is already in the works.
Verrazzano has no choice but to take Frisch with him as he tracks down an enemy that both men know far too well--their old Special Forces commander and father figure. Following leads that take them from New York to Detroit and on to Europe, Verrazzano finally lands in a confrontation that unravels a secret even more sinister than he could have expected.

Thank god for the synopsis provided by the publisher, because I really had no idea what was going on in this book from beginning to end. China Strike is a pseudo-techno military detective thriller sort of thing, involving international conspiracies, computer hacking, and some ICE agents who don’t really seem to know their actual job description.

The author keeps up a fairly relentless pace, which is okay for this genre, but he does it to the detriment of actually allowing the reader to stick their head up and have a look around at what is going on in the broader world outside of the protagonists viewpoints. Several significant – or what I would consider significant – events occur in the book, but as they are dealt with so swiftly it felt like they were not important at all. There is also a bewildering array of names, pseudonyms, and english-versions-of-names bandied about that made it difficult to follow who was who, and I really did not care for any of the main characters because I just didn’t get a connection with them.

I have not read the first book in this series, and perhaps that is a downfall on my part, but based on the second book I really don’t think I will be going back to the first. I like to have a good grounding in reality with my military thrillers, and this just felt a bit too wild and woolly. There were some interesting ideas there, with the hacking of cars’ onboard computers, but ultimately the stakes were not established for me, and so I didn’t know why it mattered.

I thought China Strike had some interesting ideas, but they were poorly executed, and was too busy trying to be a thrill-a-minute without asking me to come along for the ride.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating Report
Overall: two-stars

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