Wednesday, June 18, 2008

book review: the deceived*

Holey moley! I was in the mood for a page turner and with Brett Battles’ The Deceived, I got that in spades. This book sucked me in and swept me along in the way only a good, action-filled suspense novel really can.

The book’s central character is a mercenary with the alias Jonathan Quinn. Quinn is a ‘cleaner’, hired by government and crime bosses alike to go in and eliminate evidence (and remove bodies) after the violence is over.

In this, the second novel in a series, Quinn is hired to clean out a shipping container, only to find that it contains the body of a man who once saved his life. The man, a former CIA agent, was badly beaten and left to slowly die in the shipping container. He did, however, manage to scrawl a message (in blood, of course), consisting of a series of letters and numbers, on the container wall. And he died clutching a photo of his girlfriend - one that had been taken by Quinn himself when all three had been on a fishing vacation.

Quinn sets out to find out what happened to his friend and soon learns that the man’s girlfriend, Jenny, has disappeared. The reader travels with Quinn to several American cities and, eventually, to Singapore, as he begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together and very quickly puts himself in the line of fire.

The book is well-written (a real necessity for me to enjoy any book. Even with a great plot, badly written prose is like nails on a chalk board), with great dialogue between likeable characters, who manage to be believable despite their existence among the world of “secrets.” And the action scenes are great fun (they certainly got my heart racing).

The book did start to drag near the end (the part that takes place in Singapore), as it took a little too long to build to the climax. And there was one plot twist that I saw coming a mile away. However, there was a terrific ending and a few subsequent plot twists that did surprise, so I consider these to be minor quibbles.

I don’t know if I’ll remember The Deceived in a few weeks’ time but I certainly had fun reading it. If you are looking for some enjoyable summer reading and mysteries are your thing (and you don’t mind a little violent action), then get yourself a copy of The Deceived. I have already ordered the first book in the series from the library.

*This is a review of a book that was sent to me via Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program.

1 comment:

Bill Cameron said...

If you liked this one, you will like The Cleaner too.