This is the first book I’ve read by Alex Shaw and I guarantee it won’t be the last. Cold Blood is an action packed and complex thriller that kept me turning pages well into the night. Aidan Snow is a multi-faceted character; a well trained member of the SAS who is injured severely during a training exercise, he retires to become a teacher in the Ukraine. Tormented by the memory of the man who almost killed him, he still struggles to maintain a normal ex-pat life in a country far from his home.
Shaw has chosen a fascinating setting for his story. Using detailed descriptions of Kyiv, Ukraine he invites the reader to explore bars and restaurants, interact with locals, and in general walk alongside his protagonist Snow. In addition to Snow there are the necessary antagonists, the most evil, his powerful and determined adversary Tauras “Bull” Pashinski. It is this man who almost killed him and fills his nightmares.
When Snow is inadvertently drawn into a violent and criminal attempt to take over an illegal business dealing all hell breaks loose. Suddenly faced with the man who has haunted his nightmares he must not only defend himself but also try to protect his unprepared and unaware friend and fellow teacher Arnaud Hurst.
There is a great deal of behind the scenes machinations going on and there is ongoing maneuvering between the English and the Ukraines. A tremendous amount of insight into the corruption of the local government and European criminal enterprises make this an intriguing book.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story rich with political and criminal action and vibrant characters.