The Facility – Simon Lelic

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Rupture was one of my favourite books of 2010  and I am sad that it didn’t receive the attention it deserved. I was pleased to discover that Simon Lelic’s second book was going to be released so soon after his first and I jumped at the chance to read it.

The Facility is set in the near future and centres on a secret prison which the British Government are using to hold people under their new “Unified Security Act”. Initially created to hold terrorism suspects without charge, the authorities are now using it for questionable purposes. The book follows one man who doesn’t understand why he has been imprisoned and those on the outside who are desperate to discover why he has disappeared.

The book is a fast paced thriller which is gripping throughout. It isn’t for the prudish as there is strong sexual content from the start and I must also warn you that it gets quite dark and violent in places.

Unfortunately I didn’t find it as thought provoking as it could have been – it read like a conventional thriller instead of being a deeper investigation into this complex issue.

It also lost the wonderful one-sided-conversation writing style of Rupture. The writing quality was still high, but there was nothing to make it stand out from the crowd of other thrillers produced each year.

The Facility is a wonderful thriller, but I had hoped it would be so much more than that. I urge you to read Rupture so that you can understand why I had such high hopes for this book. The Facility is worth reading if you are after an absorbing, fast paced read, but I’m hoping that his next book returns to the magic of his first.


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15 Comments

  1. Violet says:

    Looks like a good book but if I ever try this author, I’ll remember to start with Rupture.

    1. Jackie says:

      Violet, Excellent – I do hope that you decide to give him a try :-)

  2. Steph says:

    I have a copy of Lelic’s first book (it’s not called Rupture here in the States, though) and I am going to read it soon, I think. I was just pondering my next few reads and it was one that jumped to mind, so your post is good reinforcement! I hope I like it as much as you did!

    1. Jackie says:

      Steph, Yes. I perhaps should have mentioned that Rupture is called A Thousand Cuts in the US. I’m so pleased that my post reinforced your thoughts on the book and I hope that you enjoy 1000 Cuts as much as I did.

  3. Annabel says:

    I loved Rupture, and will be reading this one next week I hope. Shame it wasn’t quite as thought-provoking as the first for you.

    1. Jackie says:

      Annabel, I look forward to seeing what you make of it. It is a very good thriller so there is still a lot to enjoy – it just wont be making my ‘best of 2011’ list :-(

  4. Sandy says:

    Maybe I should read this one first! That way maybe my expectations won’t be so high. The premise sounds good, but I sure hope it stands out from a normal thriller. There are so many of them out there!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, That is an interesting way to think about it, but I’d be worried that might make you less likely to pick up his first…

  5. Dot says:

    This sounds really good but a shame that it didn’t meet your expectations. I haven’t read the first one either so I am off to find out more!

    1. Jackie says:

      Dot, I really hope that you decide to pick up Rupture as I’m sure that you’ll love it.

  6. David H says:

    I think you’re pretty much spot on, here, Jackie. Although I don’t think The Facility works as well as a conventional thriller as you do, I’d agree that it doesn’t explore the issues enough, and the writing isn’t as striking as in Rupture. I am intrigued to see what he’ll do next, though.

    1. Jackie says:

      David, I don’t read that many thrillers so perhaps that made me enjoy that aspect more than you did? I just thought it was fast paced and gripping – isn’t that all a thriller should be?

      I’m still a big Lelic fan and will look forward to reading his next book – I’ve heard he is working on it already so we shouldn’t have too long to wait :-)

  7. Beth F says:

    Regardless of not living up to your expectations based on the first book, it sounds like a good escape book.

    1. Jackie says:

      Beth, Yes. It is a very good book for grabbing your attention, perhaps I am being a bit harsh on it because of my overly high expectations. :-(

  8. Kathleen says:

    I will plan to read Rupture first and then this one.

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