Prior to reading Thunder by Anthony Bellaleigh, I ventured out of my comfort zone and read his book, Firebird. It intrigued me enough to know I would have no objection to reading more of his work.
What can I say about Thunder? Its opening scene caused me to believe I entered into a war zone, yet that wasn't the case. Instead, I was introduced to a character and looked on over their slow recovery from a near-death experience, a character who had lost everything and struggled to find a desire to live. Even then, their family always seemed to be looking on, guarding from the other side.
Other characters were introduced - heads of special operations and a few who had been employed to eliminate members of a terrorist cell. When opportunity knocked, realization dawned that becoming a government-sanctioned assassin would provide a way to obtain revenge. It would also grant a ray of hope in saying goodbye to this world and being reunited with their family, so the one who had had no reason to live had become filled with a burning desire to seek justice against those who had destroyed countless lives.
I witnessed, firsthand, how an ordinarily gentle, loving person could become an unforgiving force to be reckoned with; when in their crosshairs, there was no mercy, no hope for forgiveness.
As the story would unfold, I became truly empathetic to the two youngest terrorists because they were truly out of their league, had no idea about the world in which they had become embroiled. Still, regardless of remorse and newfound wisdom, of plans which had been made, consequences from past choices cannot always be avoided.
I won't say more about the plot of the story but Thunder is a definite page-turner, despite feeling it was a never-ending story. When I got to the last 18% of the book, I kicked my feet up and didn't move for six hours until the last page had been read. It's filled with action and suspense, with a healthy dose of bloodshed in certain scenes, not to mention creative ways of seeking retribution. The two assassins who had become a team were my heroes in the story and I wished only good things for them. I was cheering them on and didn't really care what they did because they were the "good guys," but with a twist I did not, in any way, expect.
I sent a screenshot to Anthony, believing he made a mistake with one of the words on a tombstone - until I kept reading and realized I had been mistaken about something throughout the entire story. I sent another message telling him he had some explaining to do for messing with my mind as he did; he only smiled and said it's his mind which is messed up. Leave it to this guy to be on the receiving end of messages I never dreamed I would have reason to send to anyone. In addition, I am tempted to pick Thunder up and read parts of it again; I have never finished a book and wanted to start at the beginning again.
For readers who enjoy fast-paced thrillers with heart-stopping moments, yet occasional opportunities to smell the roses, this book would be an enjoyable read.
Published February 23, 2023