I have a good reason not to start in the middle of book series. Most of them today have books that aren’t able to stand alone and be a part of a larger series. Hell and Gone was a pleasant exception to that rule.
We start the story, with an event in he past. When I first read it I wasn’t sure how it was going to fit since there was no relation to the main character, Charlie Hardie. To be honest, I almost forgot about it until it was finally tied into the plot later in the book. From there, we go right into the main story and we learn about Charlie Hardie and idea of went on in the first book. What a lot of books do wrong is that the have long recaps of event in the series. Swierczynski gets it right with a number of tactics. First, he sets the start of the main story very close to the end of the last book. That gives any recaps the ability to seem natural. Also, he intersperses them through out the story, giving them the feel of natural thought process of the character and not just a pause for the reader. Or, he the events were recounted in discussions and actions. So we are seeing the effect of the causes in the first story.
But the way the story is written is only a part of what makes this a successful book. It is also a fun read and a page turner. Charlie Hardie, a.k.a. Unkillable Chuck, is now having to deal with the consequences of his actions. Instead of being killed, he his nursed back to health only to be the warden of a secret prison. But even the moment he gets there, he knows there is a game being played and he doesn’t know the rules.
It is an intriguing story of psychology, good intentions, secret organizations, and the horrors that can be birthed when those things are combined. All the characters play their parts well. Charlie Hardie is a great character. A refreshing change when everyone is trying to have anti-heroes, he is a hero who just doesn’t win the way he wants to. Which is almost a little more realistic.
Definitely worth picking up, especially before the last book comes out.