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Monday 25 August 2014

Reversal of Providence by Mark D. Niehus


I have mixed feelings about this book. I felt like a lone Smarty, shaking about in its tube for the first half, as I was tossed from year to year, country to country. I couldn’t keep up, and not every chapter was titled to clarify when or where we were supposed to be.

Ryan Anderson is a go-getting security-systems salesman, and on his way to a make-or-break meeting, a truck driver reverses into him. Reluctantly accepting not to report the incident, Ryan agrees to collect cash compensation for the repairs to his car from an address given to him by the driver. All seems simple and straightforward enough until, post visit, he receives unwelcome visitors at his residence, intent on eliminating him. But Ryan isn’t one to back down easily, and with the help of a rather good-looking attorney, Jessica, whom he meets in a bar where she tends, he discovers a devastating threat to their country.

Eventually, after feeling a bit unsettled in the first half…a rather too-long scene-setter…we’re in the present day, and the action really takes off. I did feel rewarded for sticking with it. However, I was a tad disappointed by the end, as it seems this book was the first of a series following Ryan and Jessica, and it was just a little inconclusive. That said, it’s just about able to stand alone, and I liked these characters enough to want to pursue their adventures. They’re both smart, good-looking (naturally), intelligent, determined and have no-nonsense attitudes. Great candidates for a future in espionage, it seems.

On the whole, this was well-written. There’s no doubt the author is articulate, and I was certainly impressed by his thorough research. I was less impressed by the editing, however. I’m pretty sure it was self-edited or certainly not edited by a professional. ‘Thru’ is never an acceptable alternative for ‘through’ in narrative, and surely, everyone knows that double-figured numbers are hyphenated? Although most of the errors were individually pretty minor, their number was irritating. Too many.

This will appeal to lovers of political thrillers with terrorism and love interest thrown in. An interesting mix, but this turned out to be an enjoyable and fast-paced novel in the end.

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