John Wallace wakes to find a man in his house and his body in immense pain. A figure in black armour and a mask looms over him. He has a noose and slips it around John’s neck. The masked man forces John to take a jump, to hang himself. Through a sheer twist of fate, John survives the attempted hanging and runs for his life.

This is where Pendulum begins and keeps on going until the 481st page. We find out that John is a photojournalist, he struggles with what happened when he was on an assignment in Afghanistan, but not much more than that. The strange, foreboding killer in black does not relent, and the book is spent following John hoping that he stays one step in front of the man in black armour. A classic game of cat and mouse.


Pendulum has got some rave reviews, none more so than that from the King of thriller books James Patterson which is sure to get this book flying off the bookshelves, but I just couldn’t get into it. It seemed very clinical and robotic in its prose, and I think the last two run-ins with the masked killer could have been cut or merged into one. I also tuned into some repeated words and phrases such as ‘disembodied voice’ and ‘burning lungs’ which had me playing a little game of mental bingo with myself every time they popped up. I also felt myself skimming the pages towards the end to find out why this merciless, precise, committed murderer was so intent on taking John Wallace out.

The ending is topical and was surprising and rewarding, but for some reason, I felt no empathy for the main character Wallace. I’ve not read Adam Hamdy before and would read him again. Some books just don’t click, no matter how many 5-star reviews you see!

2.5 out of 5 from me – Buy it now fromBooktopia

Pendulum Book Jacket

You wake. Confused. Disorientated.
A noose is round your neck.
You are bound, standing on a chair.
All you can focus on is the man in the mask tightening the rope.
You are about to die.
John Wallace has no idea why he has been targeted. No idea who his attacker is. No idea how he will prevent the inevitable.
Then the pendulum of fate swings in his favour.
He has one chance to escape, find the truth and halt his destruction.
The momentum is in his favour for now.
But with a killer on his tail, everything can change with one swing of this deadly pendulum…

You have one chance. Run.