Curse the Day by Judith O’Reilly

Head of Zeus | 2020 (2 April) | 400p | Review copy | Buy the book

Curse the Day by Judith O'ReillyWhen Esme Hawke is attacked in her own home and kills her assailant in self-defence, her uncle is determined to keep her safe. Because he knows this won’t be the last time an attempt is made on her life. Her husband Tobias is the genius boss of the Derkind Institute. He is the creator of ‘Syd’, which represents a breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence. Syd mimics human thought and has the ability to learn. Esme isn’t the only one to be fearful of what Syd can do if released from its confinement within the Institute’s machines. Others want control. Esme is a target and so too is Tobias. Michael North, an ex-assassin with a bullet in his brain, is forced to take the case, to keep Esme safe at all costs, and he must do that with the help of teenage genius hacker Fangfang. Then Tobias is murdered. It was his moment of glory. Now North must save Esme and contain Syd. But, most of all, North must keep Fangfang safe.

Curse the Day is the second thriller to feature Michael North but I don’t think you need to have read the first one to enjoy this. I hadn’t read the first and it didn’t affect my reading. The author reintroduces us to her characters and we’re quick to get to know them, especially the charismatic, fatalistic North and the immensely likeable and troubled Fangfang. These two people, each so different, are made for each other. They are tied together. And it’s that relationship which gives Curse the Day such a resonance. North has very little in his life so, what he has, he will die, and kill for, to protect.

These are great characters but even more memorable are the fantastic action sequences. The opening of the thriller is electric and so, too, is the scene in which North arrives back in the UK. This is exciting stuff! The story is entertaining and the baddies as bad as you’d like. Most of all, though, I loved Fangfang and enjoyed Michael North’s background (ie the bullet in the head), which makes him very different from other action heroes. I do love action thrillers and so I’m pleased to discover a new hero to get to know.

Forgive the short review. My mind isn’t working as well as it might due to everything that’s going on, with me personally and with the world. Thanks to everyone for the kind messages. It’s really appreciated.

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