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No Man's Land by Roland Fishman
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No Man's Land

by Roland Fishman

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A thriller that features surfing and a special operative anti-terrorism order, based on Eastern mysticism, is not exactly "expected territory" even with the best will in the world. Which makes NO MAN'S LAND by Australian author Roland Fishman an interesting prospect.

For something that starts out with such an odd premise, there is much to like about this book. Sticking closely to the thriller format there are thrills, spills and a lot of action built into a plot that actually makes sense. The fundamentals of threat are here - kidnapping, terrorism, assassination attempts - everything is pointing to somebody trying very hard to sideline the Order and it's enigmatic leader Thomas Wing. Despite Carter's willing separation from the group, he's dragged back in its defence - and in an attempt to save his own life.

As well as all the action, the past relationship between Carter and Wing's daughter Erina adds an interesting twist to the standard romance environment. Means the sexual tension is nicely balanced with a serious dollop of guilt and resentment but despite any personal difficulties, Erina and Carter have to work together to stop the terrorist cell hell bent on destroying the Order, leaving them free to wreak havoc in Sydney on New Year's Eve. Of course the terrorist cell is made up of the stock standard "baddies" these days which is increasingly predictable. The setting, however, is very different and works incredibly well - keeping everything within our region and considerably more real as a result.

There's no doubt at all that the unusual elements of this thriller are what give it some of its strength. The nature of the order, and the belief system behind it, creates an interesting challenge between acceptance and fight-back. Mirrored somewhat in the surfer mindset as well. All of this makes Carter an unexpected hero type - flawed, questioning, brave with enough of the all action hero type to be believable he's quite realistic, very believable. The relationship between Carter and Erina has the same sorts of contrasts - the attraction, their past, their willingness to put everything to one side in the pursuit of the ultimate aim, makes them again, believable. And it doesn't hurt that there's nothing decorative female about Erina - she's a strong, capable woman in her own right - just the sort of person you would expect a parent like Wing to have raised within the order.

Added to the believability of the unexpected, the realistic portray of the two central characters, and a strong plot, there's a hefty dose of good, dry very Australian humour and a dusting of super-hero goings on. Which makes NO MAN'S LAND spot on for a bit of over the summer escapist reading. Or during winter amusement, or any time of the year good thrills and spills.

http://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/review-no-mans-island-roland-fishman ( )
  austcrimefiction | Jan 19, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0992322901, Paperback)

"A thriller that has all the elements ... An Australian version of Lee Child's Jack Reacher - a man of few words but much action ... Fishman sets a fierce pace over almost 400 pages."
The Sunday Age, 14 Dec 2014


Amazon Australia Bestseller: reached # 2 - International, Mystery & Crime

"This is the rare international thriller with an engaging romantic subplot that features full-bodied human beings. Be ready to be thrilled and charmed. A thriller lovers delight."
James N. Frey - Author of nine acclaimed thrillers and the best selling How to Write a Damn Good Thriller


"Fishman is the real deal. He knows how to sustain a cracking pace from start to finish, so much so that I found myself saying after each chapter, "just one more."

Alexander Gilly, author of Devil's Harbour


Special operative Russell Carter has turned his back on everything he ever believed in. A year ago he walked away from the order and its leader, Thomas Wing, a man he once regarded as a father. Since then he's been living the good life, surfing at Lennox Head and trying to forget his past.

On Christmas Day Thomas is kidnapped from a remote bush property near the Queensland border, and Carter is sucked straight back into the violent world he left behind. Now an Indonesian terrorist cell is trying to kill him -- and every other member of the order.

With Carter and the order out of the way, the terrorists hope to carry off a daring attack on Sydney Harbour on New Year's Eve - just days away -- when huge crowds gather on the water and foreshore to celebrate.

Carter is forced to team up with Thomas's daughter, Erina -- the only woman he has ever loved, and who he abandoned without saying goodbye. Together they must travel into the wilds of Indonesia and back again in a desperate bid to save Thomas - and the lives of thousands of others.

"Several of the action sequences are portrayed in such granular detail that often time dilates ... As it draws to its conclusion the conflict explodes like a display of fireworks." Nick Lathouris - Co-writer Mad Max IV

Praise for No Man's Land

"Fantastic read. Loved Russell Carter's dry humour. All the characters really jumped off the page, the action was relentless and the philosophy of the book, both from the Australian and Indonesian perspectives, really had me engaged from beginning to end. " Fred Talib - Good Reads

"From the first chapter I loved this story...this is not my typical choice of books...the author had me on a journey with Carter and Erina...their passion to make a difference, save the world with such courage and amazing expertise whilst also grappling with their own vulnerabilities. A truly oceanic and transformative inner and outer journey!" Ingrid Studholme - Good Reads

"Roland Fishman is the next Lee Child with spirituality...an unputdownable story that I just didn't want to end."June Laffey - Cannes Gold Lion Award Winner

"No Man's Land is a thriller with real heart - gripping, action-packed and at times romantic and completely charming. A hard book to put down." Zaggam - Good Reads

"I rarely read novels in the action/thriller genre. But No Man's Land came highly recommended, so I gave it a go - and I'm glad I did. Hopefully a sequel is on its way!" Denise Imwold - Good Reads

"From the opening paragraph it was hard to put the book down as I had to keep reading to find out what happened next." Elizabeth Spratt - Good Reads

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:26 -0400)

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