Catching the world’s most wanted terrorist was supposed to be someone else’s job…
State of Fear is the second book in Tim Ayliffe’s series about veteran war reporter John Bailey, however it can be read as a standalone (I haven’t read the first book).
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. Despite some struggles – he suffers PTSD – he is now sober, trying to forge a stronger relationship with his daughter and has committed to on-off girlfriend Sharon Dexter, the new head of the Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT). He’s living something that resembles a normal life in Sydney.
It’s one hellova way to start a book, and it only gets wilder from there.
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.
It becomes personal. Back in Sydney, the people who matter most to Bailey have become targets, including his daughter and Dexter. Omar, Bailey’s former driver from when he was in Iraq turns up asking for help. Omar was the guy who knew how to keep Western reporters safe. He was granted refugee status in Australia and now lives a quiet with a wife and kids, but his son has gone missing after being subjected to extremist propaganda, and Omar is terrified his son has been radicalised.
Bailey turns to the only man who can help – ruthless CIA veteran Ronnie Johnson – to bring down the world’s most deadly terrorist.
Moving between the inner suburbs of Sydney and London, with flashbacks to Iraq, State of Fear is an action packed, adrenaline charged thriller. John Bailey is a truly likeable and complex hero supported by a cast of excellent characters such as his editor Gerald and CIA agent Ronnie. His love, Sharon Dexter is deftly developed through her own chapters and their relationship gives the novel heart and depth.
Terrifying and thought-provoking, this polished page-turner will keep you glued to the edge of your seat, to the very last, heart-wrenching pages. Ayliffe is masterful. He absolutely leaves you wanting more. He has delivered one of the best thrillers of the year and set himself up to be amongst Australia’s go-to thriller writers. Highly recommended.
About the author:
Tim Ayliffe has been a journalist for almost 20 years and is the Managing Editor of Television and Video for ABC News. He has also worked as TV News Editor for ABC News and the
Executive Producer of ABC News Breakfast. Before joining the ABC in 2006, Tim worked in London for Sky News as a digital and television journalist. The Greater Good is the first book in a three-book series featuring John Bailey. When he’s not writing or chasing news stories Tim rides bikes and surfs. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Justine Dougherty, and their two children, Penelope and Arthur.