This is not usually my type of book. If I’m brutally honest, I couldn’t care less about dramatic military fiction. I tune out of the plot lines, hate the cliché characters and these government conspiracy theories are dime a dozen.
So why did I actually finish it?
The writing, for starters. It’s paced very well, with a strong voice from the protagonist. He’s a mixed up, annoying and sometimes patriarchal idiot; there is a particularly bad scene in which he declares he can’t have feelings for a woman who isn’t one he can rescue. I contemplated giving up at that point. However, the brutal honesty makes it more real, and apart from that scene, I generally enjoyed being in Thomas’ mind.
Of course, one of the main joys is the humour. I’m biased, I know, but not much compares to intelligent British humour. It’s not seen often in literature, so it’s wonderful to experience it through writing rather than as part of a comedy act. Hugh Laurie translates his comedy very well into writing, and I do think that’s one of the reasons I didn’t give up completely.
The plotline is your basic military conspiracy; it’s James Bond, if 007 was more reluctant, broke and a bit of an idiot. Thomas doesn’t quite meet anti-hero for me. He’s not even a hero in my eyes. He’s the guy that steps up, because no one else can; and he’ll save the day…eventually. In a very long winded, confused and dramatic fashion he will get there in the end.
This novel is probably more appealing if you like Bond, action in general or conspiracy stories. But for the joy of the humour and witty writing, it’s worth a go.
I’ve been really bad at reviewing books lately…well, for a while now so time to get back into it! More posts to come soon.