Review: ‘Stand By, Stand By’ by Chris Ryan

Stand By, Stand By starts the story of Geordie Sharp, a sergeant in the SAS. After a traumatizing event in the Gulf War, he’s back at the UK, but things will never be the same again.


Life isn’t easy when Geordie returns home. Not only are nightmares haunting him but things between him and his wife are awkward, and he’s not sure how to fix them. To clear his head, Geordie focuses on his training and eventually starts preparing for a mission in Northern Ireland. Before the mission even gets underway, everything falls apart. A murder gives Geordie only one goal: revenge. But getting it won’t be easy, especially not when the man he’s after turns out to be a leading player in the PIRA…

This book is a thriller filled with action. It’s easy to notice how well the author knows the SAS and military, and while the book doesn’t delve too deeply into every tiny detail, there’s enough of them to really draw the reader in. At least I was hooked from the beginning.

The plot seems a bit lost at times but in the end the events tied together nicely. Since Geordie acts as the narrator, sometimes the story moves onward only through him telling about it instead of the reader actually following along, but it wasn’t a big problem for me. Except for a few special chapters, the focus is strictly on Geordie and his problems (both personal and professional) so you’ll get to hear a lot of his thoughts.

I liked the characters in the book, especially Geordie and his best friend Tony Lopez. Most of the named characters felt like their own individuals even when they didn’t get much page time, and I was interested to know what happens to them next. Especially towards the end I didn’t want to put the book down for a moment.

My biggest problem was with the ending. I won’t spoil it but it was such a cliffhanger that I probably would’ve felt at least somewhat disappointed if I didn’t already have the next book, Zero Option. That being said, I’ll definitely give that one a read too, and most likely the next books in the series as well.



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