American Ryan Lock served in the special close protection unit of the British Military. Now he's putting his skills to use in the U.S. as a body guard. In LOCKDOWN he's the head of security for a large pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, dealing with regular protests from animal rights activists. On Christmas Eve, the pharmaceutical company CEO agrees to meet with the leader of the protest and agrees to some of their demands. In a press conference outside the building the celebration turns deadly as the protest leader and others are shot by snipers from a neighboring rooftop.
The murders look appear to be the work of animal rights activists who missed their target. Instead of hitting the evil CEO, they took out their own spokesman. But Lock isn't buying it, especially after he winds up in the hospital from a shot-gun rigged door. During his convalescence, Ryan and his good friend Ty start digging into who is really behind the Christmas Eve blood bath.
LOCKDOWN is the first book in Sean Black's Ryan Lock series and I'm very excited that I don't have to wait a year for the next book - one of the benefits of discovering a series late. This is a fun action-adventure novel with a little bit of everything in it. You can't argue that Lock's a real character when he's knocked out in the first 20 pages. And the shaved head with stitches isn't going to win him People's Sexist Man contest. But he's smart and funny and determined; I think I'm smitten. Lock is never about show; he's about doing the job and doing it right.
Sean Black is equally generous to his female characters. Lock's journalist on again-off again girl friend is an independent, no-nonsense gal. But the female I enjoyed the most in this particular book was the terrorist. There are simply no stereotypes to her character. I wouldn't recommend messing with Sean Black's women.
Black also does a superb job of including the relationship between Lock and Carrie Delaney so that it enhances the novel instead of taking the plot off in unrelated directions. But it's Lock's relationship with Ty Johnson that has the greatest impact on the book for me. Their sharp banter is priceless and the unspoken between them adds just as much to each's character.
The plot is fast-paced. This is a text-book thriller in that sense, but Sean Black puts a unique stamp on the genre in many other ways. The first sentence of the book should tell you that much.
LOCKDOWN is available in the US in ebook format for both the Nook and the Kindle. If you'd prefer it in print, you can get a print copy through Book Depository (free shipping) or you can check here at Better World Books where they have listings from independent sellers.