Book Review – The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

unbrokenlineThere’s action galore right from the opening scenes of The Unbroken Line. Will, our hero who is a Melbourne based lawyer, is out with his girlfriend, Eva, when they are attacked. One of their masked assailants warns Will to back off. Will Will (sorry, I just had to do that once) work out who sent the men and which case he has to solve before they attack again?

I received this book via net-galley, and in retrospect I wish I would have known it was a sequel. My advice to everyone will be to do what I didn’t and read the first in the series, Blood Witness, before this novel because I think it took a lot away from my overall enjoyment of The Unbroken Line.

Okay, I did get a handle on who was who in the zoo eventually, but I wonder if would have had more of a vested interest in the characters if I’d ‘known’ them from the previous installment, especially Eva and Miller, Will’s partner. I was particularly apathetic towards Eva, which I doubt Hammond intended!

There were lots and lots of supporting characters (perhaps again, too many for me to form any type of attachment). I did adore the professor and his English lady friend. They were a hoot, and I’d quite happily read a book just of them! I also wanted more of Will’s mother, Will’s secretary, and the female police officer investigating Will and Eva’s attack. I think the brevity of these three older ladies’ scenese was a shame.

And this is where I will say that, perhaps after reading several thrillers written by women for the female market, that I found Hammond’s writing to be very… Male… I know it’s wrong for me to feel this way, but I think there was a lot of stuff in here that made me just think, ‘oh, typical male’ and roll my eyes. For example, there was the obligatory female strippers and a visit to their club. There was also a lot of emphasis on the action and the main plot, whereas the romantic subplot was extremely underdone… A little rushed maybe?… There was no sexual tension or lead up to it anyway, that would make me cheer it on.

Melbourne was a great part of the story, with the author using such things as the Melbourne Cup to great effect, and it was a joy to read a book revolving around the Australian legal system instead of the usual American one.

The tension in the climactic scenes was well done, and I did like that there might be several characters that could be used again in a third book (I hope to see Saxon again).

The characters touched on Australia’s history, and this was an enjoyable read. It could have turned into something akin to reading a textbook on the First Fleet, but instead it flowed nicely and fit into the plot well.

I also liked how Hammond weaved everything together towards the end, so that there wasn’t any annoying red herrings/smoking guns remaining.

Overall, I’d rec this, especially to those who like writers such as Grisham, Patterson or Clancy.


(I found this book with the title of Hawk’s Covenant on another social media site.)


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