Never Go Back

Lambeth Group Thrillers

Fiction - Thriller - General
410 Pages
Reviewed on 02/20/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite

Never Go Back is the latest in Gordon Bickerstaff’s series starring Zoe Tampsin who heads up the Lambeth crew of mainly female protagonists, a covert investigation unit that helps to keep Britain and the world safe. The book is well named as Zoe has once before faced ex-SAS Ben Greene turned international arms dealer. She was not successful the first time she traveled to Cyprus to destroy him and this time it looks as if she will fail again. Is there a mole in the corridors of power who is warning Greene and giving him details of the impending operation? Zoe doesn’t know who to trust outside her immediate circle. Once again, Gavin Shawlens is brought on board, but somehow everything he is involved in turns into a disaster. Zoe also conscripts her brother Michael and uses his technological skills in her fight to stop the delivery of weapons destined for Russia to use in its war with Ukraine. From Scotland to London and on to Cyprus, with many twists and turns along the way, this thriller moves at breakneck speed hurtling to the conclusion.

I was thrilled as I scrolled down the list of books to review and saw this one by Gordon Bickerstaff. I have been a fan since his very first story of the Lambeth Group starring Zoe Tampsin and this is the eleventh book in the series. In Never Go Back, once again our heroine is pitched against an arch-villain. But there is so much more to this story, as the luckless Gavin Shawlens, the shy and very reluctant member of the team, is also being stalked, which provides a second storyline that is both shocking and amusing at the same time. The condition of Julie Harpwell and her brother Tam’s flat is so descriptive that it took me right into the scene. Bickerstaff does not hold back in using language suitable for his characters who are real, well-drawn, and fascinating. The excitement never lets up and, once started, this is a book you will find difficult to put down. Of all the previous books in the series, Never Go Back is the best one to date. Highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Never Go Back is a work of fiction in the thriller, action, and suspense subgenres, and is part of the Lambeth Group Thrillers series. It is best suited to adult readers owing to some scenes of violence and the use of explicit language throughout. Penned by author Gordon Bickerstaff, the story homes in on former SAS officer Ben Greene, now a violent arms dealer with a massive illegal weapons business. Twenty-five years ago, Zoe Tampsin led a special forces unit to stop him in Northern Cyprus but failed. Now, the UK sends Zoe back to finish the job. Greene continues selling weapons, prompting Zoe's return, this time with her brother's help. Amidst all this, Greene has his own sinister plans, including abducting a person under the Lambeth Group's protection for an experiment. As Zoe confronts Greene again, the stakes are higher, and the threat of a mole within looms.

Author Gordon Bickerstaff has crafted a gripping experience filled with adrenaline-pumping action and suspense that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from cover to cover. I enjoyed the many twists of the complex narrative and the cat-and-mouse game between Zoe and Greene was well-paced to intensify more and more, showcasing their cunning and determination as their battle of wits continues. I was also really impressed with the cinematic style of the descriptions, especially in the way that the action scenes explode onto the page with plenty of visual and visceral detail. It raises the stakes and the danger of the story as a whole, and the skillful suspense laced into the quieter moments ensures that these action-packed twists pay off every time. Overall, Never Go Back is a thrilling ride that delivers non-stop action and suspense, making it a must-read for fans of the genre.

Essien Asian

Two previous attempts to apprehend notorious arms dealer and ex-SAS man Benjamin Greene have failed, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of members of her team. Despite the reservations of some Home Office officials, Zoe Tampsin gets one last chance to apprehend this wily associate turned rival who appears to have nine lives and a habit of second-guessing his opponents. Nonetheless, if she accepts this assignment, she must consider going against her values. They say the third time's the charm. Zoe hopes that is the case this time, but with so much more at stake than national security, can she finally defeat her adversary? Find out more in Gordon Bickerstaff's Never Go Back.

Gordon Bickerstaff's Never Go Back is a masterpiece that blends high-stakes politics and intriguing combat battles. The latest installment of the Lambeth Group Thrillers series features a familiar cast of characters and a few new faces. Their origin stories are detailed enough to align the new characters with the secretive government division's previous accomplishments. The conversations between the characters are meticulously crafted, with Bickerstaff's use of hanging questions expertly balancing suspense with hard-hitting action at critical points in the story. It is impressive to see how smoothly the subplot transitions from drama to action at an almost breathtaking pace. The way Bickerstaff portrays the story's antagonists is the novel's most vital point. Greene's business and military ventures have a detailed professional structure that rivals the Lambeth Group agents. It creates an immersive reading experience where you may even root for the bad guys. Never Go Back is a superb example of creative storytelling at its best.

Romuald Dzemo

Never Go Back (Lambeth Group Thrillers) by Gordon Bickerstaff is a fast-paced thriller that will engage fans of military fiction and intriguing stories with rock-solid, well-grounded characters. Former SAS officer Ben Greene is a wanted man; he is a ruthless arms dealer who managed to slip away once when Zoe Tampsin led a special forces unit to capture him. That was twenty-five years ago. This time, Danny McCain is sending her to capture the elusive and cunning arms dealer. The team is confident that they can discover something predictable about him. But when Zoe's plans are thwarted, she must determine whether they have a mole in Whitehall or Ben Greene is just smarter than them.

There is so much to enjoy in Gordon Bickerstaff's thriller. The characters are finely drawn and sophisticated. Zoe has had a bad experience with Ben Greene and she will stop at nothing to make sure she brings him in. Ben Greene is a criminal who sells illegal weapons to extremists in Europe and he kills his rivals without mercy. So, Zoe is not after a petty criminal but one who manages to elude capture. Zoe's strategic brilliance makes her a character to root for, yet Ben Greene is also an intelligent and cunning match. The plot offers surprising twists and the scenes are well-focused. Zoe suffers many losses, is outwitted, and wakes up in a hospital bed. The author is an expert at creating motivation in the characters and readers will love to follow them in a cat-and-mouse game characterized by high stakes. Never Go Back is an excellent read and the author's knack for short chapters and pulsating drama makes it even more enjoyable.

Alma Boucher

In Never Go Back, a thriller by Gordon Bickerstaff, Ben Greene, a former SAS officer, abandoned the military to pursue a career as an international arms dealer. A special forces unit led by Zoe Tampsin traveled to Northern Cyprus to find and kill Greene. Greene had been warned of the attack and was waiting for Zoe and her unit. Greene massacred Zoe's unit members and assassinated the MI6 team that planned the mission. Greene kept Zoe alive to return the remains of her unit and to convey to the military authorities a message that female leaders of soldiers should not be allowed to go into combat. Years later, with her brother Michael acting as her guardian angel and a sniper squad, Zoe is sent back to kill Greene.

Gordon Bickerstaff has created a roller coaster of thrills, action, and suspense in Never Go Back. It was fast-paced and filled with twists and turns, and I could not put the book down. I was kept on the edge of my seat by the perfect combination of mystery and suspense. It was a page-turner, and I could not turn the pages fast enough. I was engrossed in the story from the beginning and was left guessing until the very end. The characters were compelling and well-developed. They seemed like people I knew, and they were relatable. Zoe was a very strong woman, and her drive was to avenge her unit by capturing Greene. It was a fantastic story with a compelling plot, excellent writing, and a fascinating storyline.