It's hard to describe Cold Barrel Zero because it is complex. It's about two groups of people who are after each other because of supposed atrocities committed long ago. One group is the military and the main character is Riggs. The other group are the supposed renegades, led by Hayes. Then Thomas Byrne, who hasn't seen Hayes for years gets roped into this horrible situation because he' in the wrong place at the wrong time. For Byrne, it's help or be killed.
There is a lot of action, but it's kind of the same action repeated over again, which is the main reason I gave up at 55%. It's a long book -- or at least it seemed like it. I didn't need more action, I just needed the answers to come a bit more quickly. Cold Barrel Zero is purposefully confusing at the beginning and many characters are introduced quickly. The best part is the fact that the reader really doesn't know who is bad and who is good. I'm not really sure anyone is good in this one. But after over half the book, I was still totally in the dark. I needed some breadcrumbs, so I could stay interested in the outcome.
Quirk also uses some jargon that I didn't understand and some references that made no sense. One example is when he talks about a group of high powered people at a meeting and says, "they were all mandarins." Huh? The dictionary on my e-reader didn't have an explanation. When I go to dictionary.com the sixth definition says: "An influential or powerful government official or bureaucrat." Thanks for expanding my vocabulary, but I think Quirk is being purposefully obtuse. These types of phrases occur too often and disrupted the flow for me.
I found myself resenting this story and wishing it would just be over. That's when I decided it was time to quit. A certain case of "it's me, not you" because really my complaints about Cold Barrel Zero are minor, and if you like these types of high tech, military terrorism stories, then you should go for it.
Published by Mulholland, March 29, 2016
eARC obtained from NetGalley
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