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Sean Black released his debut novel Lockdown in June of 2010 as this was the beginning of a series featuring Ryan Lock. His follow up book Dead Lock was released a month later.
I read Sean Blacks first book and absolutely loved it. Ryan Lock is an ex-military bodyguard who has worked private security and has now set up his own company that can be called upon for any type of job. He has a partner Ty Johnson who is an ex-marine who Ryan met whilst in Iraq. Together they make a formidable team and seem unafraid to take on any type of work.
Their latest task at first seems to be quite straightforward. All they have to do is keep a prisoner by the name of Frank ‘Reaper’ Hays alive for a week. He is a very important witness for the states prosecution against the white supremacist gang the ‘Aryan Brotherhood’. What they soon realise is that the job is a little more difficult than they first realised. Frank Hays is a prisoner inside Pelican Bay Super Max prison. For them to protect him, they need to do it from the inside.
They enter Pelican Bay as supposed convicted felons that have been sentenced to twenty years. The only people that are aware of the truth are the FBI and the prison warden, or at least that’s what they hope.
The Aryan Brotherhood is responsible for the killing of an undercover FBI agent and his family and the FBI are determined to see the group brought to justice. However, Hays is not a willing participant when he realises Ryan Lock has been assigned as his cell buddy and protector. It is soon very clear to both Ty and Ryan that looking after the prisoner was not their main problem in prison, it was staying alive themselves.
The story itself was great as was the pace of the book. I loved the fact that we are now in the midst of a character series where the reader waits to find out what happens to the characters. However, as much as I enjoyed the book I only found myself grappling with one element. The character Chance is a woman that is involved in the plot and is very much on the side of the Aryan Brotherhood. I have no issues with the fact that this woman was running around killing people but the fact that she was heavily pregnant while doing it smacked of a certain ‘disbelief’ element. Aside from that, the rest of the book was as good if not better than his debut.
The characters Ryan and Ty are explored a little more although I am looking forward to finding out a bit more about both of them in the next instalment. The end of the book wasn’t bad at all and the prison element of the story was first class. It shocked me to read at the end of the book that the author had actually ‘done time’ at Pelican Bay in the course of his research. Not only is he a brave man, but an incredibly clever one. The scenes in the prison were written by somebody that ‘really knew’ what it was like to be inside those walls. Overall a fantastic read that has made me look forward to his next book.