The Armed Response Unit is one of these teams. Efficient and ruthless, the task force is ordered to locate the leader of the cell. As they hunt him down, they begin to realise that this is far bigger than any of them could ever have imagined. Bombings, rocket attacks, betrayal and a series of unexpected and shocking twists leave the ARU fighting to stay alive.
There's Archer, the youngest member of the team, keen to prove himself and justify his spot on the task force. His best friend, Chalky, who is forced to fight both the terrorists and his own demons. Porter, Deakins and Fox, tough and experienced men who’ve never dealt with anything of this magnitude. And Mac, their sergeant, who must make the quickest of decisions and lead his men against the invisible enemy.
As events unfold, other people are drawn into the danger. The Prime Minister, desperately trying to find a solution and protect the capital. A mysterious female Mossad agent, who appears out of nowhere and joins the fight against the cell. Two Special Agents from the DEA, one of whom was a member of the SEAL team that stormed Osama Bin Laden’s compound and who for some reason is struggling with the memory. And the vicious, powerful leader of a Middle Eastern drug cartel, who operates in the shadows and is somehow connected to the terrorists.
With crowds all over London celebrating the New Year, and with nine terrorists somewhere amongst them, the Armed Response Unit is faced with the most dangerous night of their lives. As the savage, shocking plans of the enemy are fully revealed, the ARU officers are faced with the ultimate question.
How many times can a man cheat Death before Death evens the score?
What I liked: I really enjoyed the characters. They didn't feel over the top and were not "super" characters. I felt they reacted much as regular people in the circumstances in which they were placed. The other thing that felt real was the plot. With everything going on in today's world with terrorists and senseless killings, the plot in Nine Lives gave pause for thought. The whole situation was plausible.
The time frame in the story gave it a sense of urgency as the counterterrorism unit worked to find ALL the bad guys. Since we were dealing with the counterterrorism unit, there are many players involved. Each character was developed well for a first in a series.
There were many twists and turns and the story was told from several points of view. It more than held my interest and a few of the twists surprised me.
What I didn't like: I expected Nine Lives to be centered around one character, Sam Archer. I mean it's listed as his series but it didn't seem he was the star. Don't get me wrong, he played his part but not any more than any other character in my opinion. Using the cast of characters, Mr. Barber penned a good story.
As a free read, Nine Lives was well worth my time. I will try to continue the series as I enjoyed this opening act and am interested to see how Mr. Barber handles the next installment.
Recommended (especially for thriller/suspense fans!!!