Title: State of Fear
Author: Tim Ayliffe
Published: August 1st 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Thriller
Rating: 3.5 stars
Catching the world’s most wanted terrorist was supposed to be someone else’s job…
John Bailey has a history of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The former war correspondent has been kidnapped and tortured – twice. Finally he’s living something that resembles a normal life. But all that changes when a terrorist murders a woman in front of Bailey in London.
The mastermind behind the attack is Mustafa al-Baghdadi – No.1 on the FBI’s most wanted list – and the man who tortured Bailey in Fallujah a decade ago.
Mustafa has a deadly axe to grind with Bailey. He taunts him with threats of more attacks in other cities, closer to home. Back in Sydney, the people who matter most to Bailey have become targets.
Bailey turns to the only man who can help – ruthless CIA veteran Ronnie Johnson – to bring down the world’s most deadly terrorist.
Following the publication of The Greater Good in 2018, author Tim Ayliffe has released his second novel, State of Fear. A white knuckle political thriller, State of Fear again features John Bailey, a complex but intriguing lead, who displays a sense of dogged determination in his quest to seek retribution for a terrorist attack.
State of Fear follows The Greater Good, which was released last year to great success. Penned by an author who knows the ins and outs of world news, currents events and international relations, thanks to his work as a decorated journalist, State of Fear is a book that hits the ground running. It begins with a deadly but defining terrorist attack, which directly impacts the lead protagonist of Tim Ayliffe’s novel, John Bailey. This former war correspondent witnesses a horrific act of terrorism in London. He soon learns that the individual responsible for the attack is a man known to him, he is the very same man who tormented Bailey a decade ago in Iraq. As John Bailey grapples with the knowledge of this terrorist’s vendetta, the attacks continue and they hit much closer to home. With the help of a number of key allies, John Bailey must defeat this terrorist mastermind before it is too late.
With a front cover endorsement from an author I respect very much, Sara Foster, stating Tim Ayliffe’s work is ‘sharp, incisive and scarily prescient’, I was soon intrigued in this title. Although I haven’t read the first book by Tim Ayliffe, I didn’t feel I had missed anything. State of Fear could easily be read as a standalone title. I tend not to gravitate towards political thrillers, but as this one was set on home soil for a significant portion of the novel, so I definitely felt a connection to this piece.
Working as the current Managing Editor of television and video for ABC, as well as his many years as a journalist, has provided Tim Ayliffe with a wealth of experience to draw on in composing his novels. Ayliffe is aware of the world climate, current news trends, acts of terrorism, political relations and international issues. His second novel is very here and now, as well as up to the minute, capturing the very essence of the global atmosphere.
John Bailey, the central protagonist of State of Fear, is a returning character, as he featured in The Greater Good, the previous novel penned by Tim Ayliffe. The character development of John Bailey is this book’s strong point. I got a very good feel for this character’s good points and bad points. I also enjoyed his interactions with the key figures in his personal and professional life. The secondary character set are also well rounded. The dialogue is fast and flowing, with an authentic edge. I was struck at many times by the visual quality of this book, it was almost like a television script playing out in front of my eyes. I’m sure this is a sign that this series is destined for the big screen!
There are many themes to draw from in Tim Ayliffe’s second novel, from journalism and reporting, to the war, PTSD, relationships, terrorism, political and international relations. State of Fear is in a constant state of movement from the moment the first page has been turned. This novel pulls the reader in and doesn’t let go until the final parting chapter. I would recommend State of Fear to readers of action packed thrillers, who appreciate a political edge to their storylines.
State of Fear by Tim Ayliffe was published on 1st August 2019 by Simon & Schuster Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
*I wish to thank Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
*Book #8 of the 2019 Aussie male author challenge.