The Final Straw/Conception
Story-telling at its finest!
From the first line 'Colin Bailey was invisible' it is clear that this book will be a journey of regret, revenge and a litany of deep longing for a life that had been denied. Although Mr Tayler writes his prose with a conversational knowing wink, and scenes play out as if one's watching a high end drama, there is a constant inner pain that threads through, giving a touching, engrossing realism, which in less experienced hands, would have descended into predictable cliché. This is storytelling at its finest!
In the character of Colin Bailey a fascinating creature has been sculpted out of the written word. Each page carves away the person that Bailey eventually becomes. Although seemingly devoid of emotion, Bailey is not your archetypal sociopath killer. He's complex, has a brilliant scheming mind and at times he's contradictory. The trust he places in a certain friendship shows a desperate need to be recognised, to be wanted. Bailey has the ability to love and is not as cold as his future actions dictate him to be, but it's just that no one has showed him how to. The ambivalence displayed by his mother to his existence defined a path to her own destiny, and her own predilections only hastened the decision that was made. For Bailey, this was the eponymous Final Straw.
With no friends, and clearly preferring to be a loner, Bailey uses hard rock gigs as a proxy for social interaction. A practice that leads him to tragedy, as he eventually loses the one person that warms his heart, and helps him know the true meaning of 'to love someone'. The perpetrator evades Bailey's wrath, and is incarcerated in jail but it's obvious that a bull's eye is on the miscreant's back and Bailey will soon be firing.
Despite the ingenious killing spree - that almost goes on beneath the noses of the local beat, with the exception of DI Phil Hounsell - Bailey is a principled man with standards; he's hardworking, sharp and meticulous in his planning and execution of 'tasks'. A very striking aspect that I found throughout the story, was the instrument of time appears in a non-threatening context, with Bailey not being commanded or intimidated by its function, choosing instead to use it to his advantage, with time itself becoming his ally. People forget over time, little things remembered once appear insignificant against new encounters, new experiences, and this gives rise to opportunity for a man like Bailey to succeed.
As a writer, Mr Tayler’s style captures you, and although rooting for the killer isn’t the usual stance to take, Bailey is the perfect antihero, and you want him to get away with those murders, you want him to avenge for the life that was taken from him in so many ways. The Final Straw is an absorbing read, pulsing with an undercurrent of righteousness, and as a reader, you will be hooked, so much so you’ll be devouring the sequel Unfinished Business before you even recognise it. That’s the power of Bailey’s invisibility!
Gold, Silver, and Bombs
The Phoenix rises again. Ted Tayler has a great way of creating the fast-paced action in his work without being too fast or timidly detailed. His backdrop of the Olympics and focusing on subplots of terrorism, an alternative to the real life events is extremely brilliant. His work is always clever and it is an amazing story that brings the reader right into the story. His characters are believable and blend so well together. Another great thriller by Ted Tayler.
The Olympus Project
Great fast paced back to back page turning action.
I was very pleased with this book. Action packed with great vigilante style justice served up by Colin Bailey and financed by the Project. All characters were well written and put forth in a manner that really gives the reader the opportunity to visualize and get to know them.
Despite the dark side of Colin, what he does and has done I found myself really liking him; a very likeable bad guy doing what really needs to be done.
A page turner and Tayler doesn't fail to bring the action! Well written! I look forward to reading more from him.
The Olympus Project
The name'sh Bailey. Colin Bailey!
This book is a continuation but it's also intended as a stand alone, and I read it as such.
The opening is classic anti-hero. A serial killer on the run and I misread it on the first pass. Colin Bailey *is* a vigilante serial killer, but not in the Dexter mode; he's not a sociopath, he is where he is *because* of his emotions.
It's a dark start. There's an expectation of nihilism - Colin is exhausted, trapped and his personal solo vigilante mission could not possibly continue against the odds. You could imagine a bleak novel ending in a fatal shoot-out. That isn't what happens and the first clue to that is Colin, even at the end of his strength, is looking for a way through.
That turns out to be the mysterious Olympus Project - an organisation which will enable him to do what he couldn't possibly achieve on his own.
It starts at a canter and never slows. Think of the plot as three episodes of a series, culminating in a real gripper as the stuff hits the fan in the middle of London.
Colin, and Tayler's method of delivery, is all about emotions kept clamped down and redirected to the tasks in hand, a sort of old-fashioned James Bond style. The emotions do come out in places, and Colin is not the stone-cold killer he tells himself he is.
Fun, and more to come.
The Olympus Project
Ted Tayler's intrigue is so very timely, given world events. I can easily see the premise of his work being real; a sort of "Star Chamber" concept of vigilantes motivated by hope for a better world and justice delivered where the justice system is too often hobbled. Tayler develops the two main characters very well, and we learn all we need to learn about the others. The writing is colourful and smart. While I am not a native of the setting, I can picture it very clearly. Armchair travel is a surprise bonus. Thank you, Ted Tayler. I enjoyed the trip!
Gold,Silver, and Bombs
OMG! Gold, Silver and Bombs, The Phoenix Series Book 2 is a real page turner. Well done Ted Tayler.
The night I started this book, I read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. The next day I broke my own rule about not reading during the day. I quickly did what I had too around the house and on social media, and then I grabbed my kindle and settled into this fast paced, exciting thriller, until it was done.
I love Vigilante books—and Colin Bailey (“The Phoenix”) captured me immediately. Truthfully, there are times in real life when I think the world could use groups like the Olympus Project to rid society of some of its festering sores. (and they probably do exist!)
This book had it all for me—excitement, drama, suspense, intrigue, sex, filled with great dialogue and rich description. I really enjoyed the way very pertinent modern day social issues were woven into the plot, and the results were not sanitized. They were tragic, just as they would be in real life, and for me it added to the authenticity of the story. I sometimes had to remind myself that this was simply great fiction!
Ted Tayler has become the latest “favorite author” on my list, and I will be reading more of his works. I immediately downloaded Conception. The Birth of Phoenix, and I am going to read The Olympus Project: The Phoenix Series Book 1. I suggest you read them first!
This was a very well written and well paced thriller.
I found it really easy to follow the plot, for someone who does not usually read mystery thriller books, but I think Colin and Rusty make a fantastic duo.
Highly recommended for anyone who loves a solid action packed read!
Gold, Silver, and Bombs
“Fast paced action thriller”
Many of my neighbours here in BC come from England. I remember how worried they were before and during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Most everyone I know became affected by the countless media reports about the efforts made to prevent a terrorist attack.
As I read “Gold, Silver and Bombs - The Phoenix #2” by Ted Tayler, I felt I was transported back to that area in time, thrown into the middle of all that effort to protect citizens and visitors alike. Ted Tayler’s fast paced thriller is filled with clever twists and turns. His strong settings create mood and atmosphere. I’m drawn to character-driven novels and would have liked to get to know more about the characters to understand them better. The way the story unfolds is well managed making me eager to keep reading. This is a good story.
Gold, Silver, and Bombs
A rather bleak alternative of the 2012 London Olympics and sub-plots surrounding topical stories of extremists at university campuses provide the backdrop for this story.
A black ops group have granted themselves free rein to deal with terrorist organizations as they see fit.
There is a particular arrogant and extreme view as they look to serve "justice". The stereotyping of foreigners and the scenarios that play in the beginning create an unease. With both sides as ruthless as each other only those caught in the crossfire have my sympathies.
With such a picture portrayed for a long time in the first half of the story, I wondered if true human elements and psychology would be explored. Thankfully this comes later on, but I feel a deeper look earlier on may have been more beneficial to the story.
Some of the setup feels too easy in progressing the scenarios that appear. However everyday news stories have shown this is highly probable.
The mirrored love interests in both the terrorists and the operational group are interestingly naive in sentiment. Though touch the surface of some humanity in characters with low or confused morals.
The action and pace of the story move quickly to an obvious ending. The lack of someone to really root for leaves an interesting thought as the concept of a good and evil is blurred. Despite it seeming obvious to support this mysterious black ops group. Therefore the continuation of the series will be dependent on traditional protagonists and that human element.
In summary an entertaining story that while being believable could do with more belief
The Olympus Project
Author Ted Tayler is generous to his readers with dynamic characters and intricate plots.
Redemption alone is a powerful force to shape a compelling story. But author Ted Tayler is generous to his reader, and adds a substantial dose of vigilantism, a lead character drowning in past vices, and a privately-funded secretive spy / counter terrorism group to the already charged mix. Cleverly he avoids a cast of mere caricatures, but devotes a chapter each, to fleshing out the motivations and scars of the principal characters driving the Olympus Project (we get to know their real names, but Colin Bailey will only know them by their pseudonyms....a nice touch).
Bailey comes to the task well skilled in eliminating people, but under the direction of his new masters his nihilistic instincts are more productively applied; disposing in creative ways those in positions of power that prey on the weak. And then the sub rosa efforts to provide crucial intelligence and counter terrorism support to Great Britain's official security apparatus (without them knowing about it!). Needless to say creative solutions are required, and this makes "The Olympus Project" immensely more intriguing than conventional spy/vigilante fare.
But these well laid plans may be in jeopardy due to the temptations of a sensual but troubled female, which brings a new level of spice to an already boiling pot. So I look forward to reading next "Gold, Silver, and Bombs"-- author Ted Tayler's sequel in his Colin Bailey "The Phoenix Series.”