Review: The Cyclist by Anthony Neil Smith




A failed marine, Judd can’t believe his luck when Catriona falls for him. He lives in Minnesota; she’s from Scotland. They work for the same company, they’ve messaged online for ages. But when they finally video chat, she turns out to be gorgeous. They may be thousands of miles apart, but they share a deep love of cycling and a passion for life. It’s love at first sight.

Judd throws his meager savings to the wind and flies across the Atlantic to meet Cat in person. Together, they plan a bike trip through the desolate Scottish Highlands. Perfect for cycling. Camping out. Being alone. But soon Judd discovers there’s more to Cat than meets her alluring brown eyes.

What Judd doesn’t know is that someone is following them. Someone with sinister plans. Their lonely journey through the Highlands turns into a game of cat and mouse. Someone is making them ride for their lives. But who exactly is the hunter, and who is the hunted?


This book was definitely fast-paced, but totally unremarkable, and definitely forgettable.

I’m going to start with something nice to say about this book, and that’s that it was an extremely quick read. I very rarely read a book in less than 24 hours but I managed it with this one, even through getting distracted by a series on Netflix and going out for lunch. So there’s something to say about the super fast-paced action in this one. It really did keep me glued to the pages (when I wasn’t getting distracted!) and I’m totally thankful for that as I’ve been stuck on a few lesser interesting, slower paced books recently.

The story was just ridiculous. It was soooooo unrealistic, like one of those dreadful Hollywood horror films that are so bad that they’re almost good. I enjoyed the plot but it’s hard to completely lose yourself in the story when it’s just so ridiculous. I enjoyed the edge-of-your-seat action and the gore (there was a lot of gore) but a lot of the book was extremely cliche and the whole SEAL thing was very macho-macho. I get that some people in the military like talking about the fact they’re in the military, and that they often think they’re above people because they’re in the military, but the amount of times it was mentioned in this got to the point of cringe. We get it, you’re a SEAL, you’re such a tough strong guy.

Unfortunately, the characters were forgettable in this one. They were just completely flat – had no real personality to them all the way through. Not even at the end did anyone develop further from the first moment you meet them, and they all go through a lot of shit. You’d be a changed person after enduring all that.

This book is filled with those short, punchy sentences that are so loved in these throwaway thrillers. Sure, it makes for quick reading but it gets super tedious after a while. Some pages were filled with short sentences.
One after the other.
All the way down the page.
No real description.
No real development.
Just short.
And punchy.

The last thing I have to say about this novel is that the synopsis needs a real good rethink. To be precise, the line “But who exactly is the hunter, and who is the hunted?” – you know from a couple of chapters in what the hell is happening. You are handed the “hunter” and the “hunted” on a silver platter at around 60 pages (which is also when all the action really starts). I came into this book with the impression that Judd (horrible name, by the way) and Cat were going to be stalked and taunted by some unknown person, for all to be revealed in a shocking revelation nearer the end of the book, but that’s not the case at all.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, but only while I was reading it. It’s not a story I’ll ever think about again. Maybe I would recommend this to someone looking for a quick, gruesome holiday read.

*Buy it here: Amazon UK

Thanks to Netgalley and be-ebooks for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

*affiliate links

15 Replies to “Review: The Cyclist by Anthony Neil Smith”

      1. I was laughing as soon as I read that and had to comment before I’d even read the rest…. Now I’ve read the rest and 😂🤣🤣🤣 @ “One after the other.
All the way down the page.” I love the way you laid that out! Clearly this is my favourite review of the day!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ooh so interesting I loved the synopsis of this so I have got it from Netgalley to read so I’ll see if I agree, though I detest macho macho so it’s already looking unlikely ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your review of this one reminds me of how I felt about The DaVinci Code. Fast paced and enjoyable at the time, but absolutely nothing of substance that sticks with you long term. At least it was a fast read and you found some enjoyment in it!

    Liked by 1 person

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