Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Hundreds of human cages hidden in the desert. A small-town police department wiped out. One man with nothing to lose.”
Woah! Such a fast-paced, adventurous thriller which goes against all the norms! With so many amazing reviews for this book already, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in myself and it did not disappoint. I’m so pleased to be on this blog tour and to share my review!
He goes by Christopher Wren, but that’s not his real name. As a legendary DELTA operator he dismantled terrorist cults, drug cartels and corporate conspiracies all around the world – but what cost him that job was the one thing he didn’t tell his CIA bosses. While taking dangerous organizations apart for Uncle Sam, Wren was building his own on the side – a vigilante army of ex-cons, hackers and disgraced marines set to come to his aid at a moment’s notice.
He’s going to need them now.
Wow, what an explosive, intriguing opening to the book! I found myself thinking that the first chapter would have made a fabulous short story with plenty left to the imagination, but I was so glad it didn’t just stop there – this story definitely had the potential to really make an impact on me, and potentially many many other readers too! The style of writing from this author impressed me from the very first paragraph and I loved how action-packed and emotional the first scenes in the book are. It grabbed me straight away and I was desperate to find out what happened after an unexpected attack. I feel like I’ve seen another reviewer say this book could be a film, and I completely understand this now – the words and language used by the author make everything so easy to visualise and the opening to the book creates so many possibilities and directions for the characters. Just…wow!
I felt that even so early on, the ending of each chapter makes the reader desperate for the chapter that follows, and I found the book to be always exciting – it seemed to be constantly sparking my curiosity the more I read. Chris was such a great character; he had a unique aura about him, but also a kind of secrecy which made the book so addictive. I found myself asking question upon question about this character’s life, the things he’s experienced and also the specific details about his life that the reader doesn’t know at this point. I was excited to experience a little bit of terror in this book and I had a sneaking feeling that this book wouldn’t disappoint in the slightest! There was such a great pace and the author really portrays this character and his personality traits well. Each character we meet is solid and I just couldn’t wait to see how everything fits together! The author has well and truly nailed the opening to the book and has definitely succeeded in making me want to read until that very last page.
The more I read, the more I wanted a guy like Chris as a friend! He knows exactly what to say to get what he wants and doesn’t take any sh*t from anyone which I loved – such a cool guy! I particularly loved a scene in the beginning of the book where Chris tries to find out what information he can from another character, Eustace, and uses some persuasive language to get what he wants. So clever, and I loved reading the back and forth between these characters. The author has created such unique dialogue, one of the things I always admire in a book. If the author can get the dialogue nailed on the head, I feel this makes a big difference to my overall view of a book, and it helps a reader to get involved and understand more about the plot and character’s motives. I loved it! The book continued to amaze me and it seemed as though I’d fly through this one pretty quickly. There’s always something new to learn and there are so many great scenes to read – all this and I hadn’t even got to the middle of the book yet!
“You’ll drink and moan, you’ll make excuses, but in the end you’ll eat a gun.”
As plans to break up a human trafficking operation are in full swing, we really get down to the nitty gritty. The story soon fills with suspense as we dive further into the book and we also meet new significant characters which was a great addition. The author doesn’t disappoint here in the slightest; the reader is constantly kept on edge and I was always looking for any suspicious activity or signs of danger before it became a problem. The book is so action-packed and thrilling throughout and I just knew there would be more of this good stuff to come in the middle of the book. Would things become even more dangerous for Chris? Can he keep this part of his life separate from his wife? Could she potentially be in danger herself? I was so looking forward to seeing how the middle of the book unraveled and just whether Chris would risk his life to get justice.
As the story moves on, we see some problem solving elements in the plot and Chris has to think ahead if he wants the outcome he desires. With a predicted terrorist attack imminent, Chris is desperate to get others to safety and has to think on his feet, but also needs to shut down the operation responsible for numerous deaths and injuries. There never seems to be a dull moment in this story – it seemed to have everything you’d ever want from an action-thriller book. Chris not only shows immense leadership in his actions, but admirable bravery too. With each page that passes, I simply loved this character more and more, and he plays such a fabulous hero and villain (to some) all in one! With the danger ramping up, would Chris be able to succeed and get people to safety or has his luck already run out? With the CIA on his back, there was everything at stake. I began to get worried for his safety, but also excited for what was to come.
The author’s description of everything from the action scenes full of danger and suspense, to the downright gruesome was incredible. Every scene is so easy to visualise in your mind and the language and vocabulary used really brings the scenery and characters to life. Chris begins to get accused for work that isn’t his own and it’s difficult for him to prove his innocence when he has the CIA on his bad side – I found myself wondering how he’d get out of all this without a scratch! There is a link back to that explosive first chapter which I really liked and even though there are still lots of questions to be answered at this point, we can begin to make some connections and build up some of our own theories and conclusions. Things were just getting more dangerous, more gruesome and a hell of a lot more action-packed, and I could not get enough of this story!
I loved how Chris managed to carry out his dangerous deeds whilst also on the run from Humphrey and his intelligence agency team. The more people we meet, the more danger emerges, and the further we get into the mystery of missing Mason, Wendy and Chris’ friends. The book also takes a more action-packed turn – if you’re a fan of a good gunfight and a bit of bloodshed, you’ll not be disappointed! We see a nasty end to some characters and some gruesome (but awesome) scenes that will stick with you until the end, which they certainly did with me! The author has certainly found his ideal genre to write in here – each scene is so perfectly described, each fight makes you wince for the characters involved and each character is portrayed in such a fantastic light, each with a unique personality you can’t help but love. I loved how we visit other characters along the way, instead of just focusing on Chris’ story. Mason also has his own important story – these gave the story more depth and I found it really enjoyable.
“Right now, there’s thousands of human slaves getting abused. Beaten. Raped. Murdered. Humiliated. Three of my people are with them, and you know what I’d do for my people. I’d do it for you. I’m doing it for them. Help me.”
One scene which stuck with me was where one particular character experiences some brutal torture and it made me screw my face up in disgust as I imagined this pain. I felt deeply sorry for this character and only hoped help would arrive in time! The description from the author was incredible and scenes such as this really bring the reader into the action and bring the whole story alive like nothing I’ve ever experienced before in a book. Shocking, gripping and unforgettable in every way! As the ending of the book was looming ever closer, it was crunch time. Chris had a job to do and he was determined to get his own way. Again, this character well and truly shines through each page and I couldn’t fault him in anyway. Would we get the answers we were hoping for as things draw to a close? Would the ending of the book leave us on an epic cliff hanger, like the ones we’ve seen already? I couldn’t wait to find out!
Certain parts of the book reminded me of the Dexter series, especially as time went on. I think Chris would play a good Dexter Morgan! The author builds up such remarkable suspense, even with the most simplest of scenes which I found really impressive. Even if Chris is simply driving somewhere or having a conversation with another character. I found myself on the edge of my seat wondering where things would go next! However, as Wren wades through danger and destruction, can he really go any further? Could the things he sees and experiences make him forget his main goal? Could things eventually get too much for him? I liked the route the book was taking and I started to question exactly what Chris wanted from his journey. Would his path change who he becomes? I questioned so much at this point and the book only became more exciting!
My opinion on Humphreys changed dramatically from the beginning of the book to the end. From wanting Chris caught to eventually being worried for his safety, things took such an opposite turn. But would it last? I felt like Chris was in a position to give up at this point but I knew he wouldn’t go down without a final fight, and I really hoped he tried to use all the strength he could muster to survive! I found myself thinking about his wife and those who knew him, and just how they’d react if they lost him for good, especially after everything he’s done for other people. The author has kept things so consistent and I was just as invested in this part of the book as I was in the beginning! With the final few chapters getting ever closer, I became more curious for how the author would close this book with it being book one of the series, and just how the ending would merge into book two. Maybe we wouldn’t get all the answers we needed in this one…
So many scenes at the end of this book stirred up a lot of emotion for me, especially as we visit Mason’s story and follow everything he experiences, which isn’t pleasant in the slightest. We see beatings, more torture, and an outcome we couldn’t have ever imagined. I think any surviving characters will learn not to mess with gangs again… or maybe it’ll spur them on even more! An unexpected twist occurs and we see a dramatic switch of roles of some characters which made for a very on-the-edge-of-your-seat reading experience. Danger comes from all sides and we’re left wondering if any character would make it out alive. Could Mason be the one to stop Chris in his tracks? Would Chris finally meet his match and how would he react? Things became so exciting but terrifying at the same time, and if I was watching this book as a film, I’d definitely be covering my eyes at this point! I was really looking forward to seeing how the author ended the book and just what the outcome would be for all the characters we’ve met.
“If you were strong enough, you could extend your strength like an umbrella to protect others. You could save people who deserved a second chance.”
The ending of the book showed chapter after chapter of suspenseful scenes, epic car chases, heroic actions from Chris and just full on action wherever you look. The reader is forced to worry and wonder what will happen if Chris doesn’t succeed. We think about Chris’ family and everything else in his life being at stake, but at the same time, I was so impressed by the dialogue between characters and the possibility of everything going south! The end of the book sets up book two nicely and there seems to be so much left to explore in Christopher Wren’s journey. There is also a sneak peek at book two which is enough to make anyone desperate to continue reading the series. Such a great job by this author and I’m looking forward to checking out more of his work in the future!
Christopher Wren is unlike any other character you’ll ever meet. The plot of this story is unlike anything you’ve ever read. The result is absolutely mind blowing! I really enjoyed this story and adored just how thrilling and suspenseful it was from start to finish, with plenty of dark and gruesome elements you can’t help but love. There’s lots of action and some emotional scenes that really grab your attention and the author’s description and dialogue is just out of this world. A solid first book in the series and I look forward to seeing what comes next in book two!
Huge thanks to the author, Mike Grist, and Emma at Damp Pebbles for my copy of the book and the place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of Saint Justice over on Amazon, available on Kindle and paperback. Make sure you’re following the author on Facebook and Twitter for updates!