Chasing Ivan – Tim Tigner Book Review

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. (2)


  • Ivan is the bad guy. For years he has been the most dangerous and evasive criminal in the world. Until now. When a mayoral campaign for the London election arises, Ivan returns after many months of escaping everyone and everything. Emily is the daughter of one of the runners in the campaign and is Ivan’s bait. By using one of his cronies, Ivan lured the young and naïve Emily out to Monaco for an exclusive “first date”.
  • There, she is remodelled into someone who would fit in with a dress, shoes and dazzling new necklace that she is given as a welcoming gift. When she is eventually shown to her date, Andreas, he is everything he said he would be. But Detective Achilles is hot on their heels and has one last chance to apprehend the evil mastermind before losing him in the darkness of the shadows.
  • It is up to Achilles to arrest the man, with the help of a French policewoman. Jo, and save the day. The end… Well, you’ll have to find out the rest for yourself!

GENRE: Crime, Thriller.


  • The main character, Achilles (his nickname) is very likeable. He’s funny, sharp minded, witty, and reminds me a lot like Det. John McLane from Die Hard. He is very cock and has a particular bravado about him. Which is refreshing. There’s quite an original backstory for Achilles which is also quite nice.
  • However, with our secondary characters, I wasn’t a massive fan. Emily, the victim in Ivan’s ploy, is naïve and quite frankly, stupid. She travels all the way to Monaco to meet someone she’s never met before, and is led by a man she’s never met, dressed by a woman she’s never met before. It was all a little too far-fetched for me.
  • Jo – the detective who helps Achilles – is a bit 2D. There’s not much that we know about her, or rather, I felt we didn’t know enough. Her part in the story just felt as though she was chucked in to add another layer.


  • The writing style of Chasing Ivan is concise, humourous and well conveyed. Each element to the text is thought out and visual – as it should be for a short story. There’s also a slight political edge to the narration, with Tim Tigner throwing in a few references to Greece’s national debt and the like. Usually, I don’t like this, but it was done in such a way that it made it acceptable.


  • Narrative person. Achilles’ perspective is told in first; Jo’s is told in the direct third, and Emily’s is omniscient third. All of this was a bit confusing when trying to work out whose chapter we were dealing with.


Almost no time at all. It is only a short story, however, so that is worth bearing in mind. But within a few days of beginning the book, I finished it after only reading sporadically and for short amounts of time…


  • JPB Rating: 7/10 Jack Probyn Books Rating




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