Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words
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Mark Wilson is a full-time teacher, full time dad, and part-time writer. He’s married and lives with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. Naebody’s Hero is his third novel, a sequel is in progress.
You can read more about the author on his website.
Rob Hamilton, abandoned by his parents as a child, one day learns he has extraordinary powers – incredible strength, speed and the ability to fly, among others. He’s a superhero with a powerful sense of right and wrong.
Whilst Rob is growing up Kim Hamilton, US secret agent, is trying to track down the terrorist group that killed her husband and son, the shadowy al-Qaeda which spreads its tentacles ever wider over time. Eventually it touches on Arif Ali, a young, increasingly radicalised Pakistani boy living in England and exposes him to some horrible events.
The first draft of this review started with the phrase ‘This is a powerful story, a superhero tale with a difference.’ However that was a shallow assessment of a powerful story. That Rob has super powers is incidental, it is simply a part of who he is.
Naebody’s Hero is an international thriller. Wilson cleverly blends three storylines over some thirty odd years and several continents leading to its climax on 9/11. The characters are excellently rendered. Driven Kim, desperate for revenge on those who stopped her life in its tracks (ironically she affects herself perhaps even more by being unable to move on from her grief). Rob himself, who learns to use his powers and his touching relationship development with his foster parents. And, most interestingly of all, is Arif Ali. I really liked the additional window this strand opened up, into the lengths terrorists would take to ensure conversion to the radical cause. There are some difficult, disturbing, and surprising subjects addressed. The sense of place is consistently strong, wherever in the world the action is taking place.
Another fascinating turn is the events running up to 9/11 and the day itself – the conclusion fitted perfectly into the world Wilson deftly created.
In conclusion this was a very strong book, intriguing and unusual. I understand there’s a sequel in progress. I’ll be picking up a copy.
Some disturbing scenes.
Rating: **** Four Stars