Bursting with adrenaline
‘I departed four days later, on the backseat of a police car. The door-to-door salesman I had taken to be a Serbian soldier disappeared in an ambulance in the opposite direction. The boxes were still in the hall.’ This is the abrupt ending of the romance between Bosnia veteran, Alex Fisher, and ‘his’ Helen, the girl he had just moved in with. Such abruptness is typical of the entire book. Written by the top writing duo, Escober, it is not without reason that the novel bears the title Chaos.
The main character, Fisher, gives an enthralling and distressing account of the last six months of his violent life. Like many others, he suffers post-traumatic stress syndrome after a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, and this makes him a danger both to himself and to others. It is impossible to escape the past, and reliving the horror is inevitable. Fisher flees from normal social life and becomes involved in criminal drug activities that involve physical violence, clashes of arms, rough sex, acrimonious deals, and an almost total lack of mutual trust. During 300 pages, Fisher hustles through Europe, settling score after score in a string of blistering adventures.
Superficially, Chaos is a rough soldiers’ book in the Andy McNab tradition; it is written in a penetrating, captivating style, rhythmical and brutal. Under the surface, however, it furnishes a frank portrait of a damaged individual. Although the emotions may be raw and largely primitive, they have been recorded in a psychologically sincere manner; they are sadly authentic too, the fruit of meticulous research. In addition, the book has been composed in such a way that it does full justice to the term ‘thriller’: there are thrills on every page, and tension right up to the end.