Thursday, September 22, 2011

Noteworthy Reads: REVENGE by Michael Haskins 
            REVENGE is a gritty, complex mystery/thriller that builds suspense slowly, although with intermittent bursts of violence, and then explodes in a fiery (literally) climax that includes not only plenty of exciting action but also as shocking a final denouement as I've read in a good long while.
            Protagonist Liam "Mad Mick" Murphy is an engaging character, a gonzo journalist who has traveled much of the globe and covered his share of conflict. He is somewhat world-weary, but neither jaded nor overly cynical. His introspection is often self-effacing yet always insightful. He has both friends—and enemies—at many different levels and in positions of varying authority.
            Throughout the novel, Murphy is hopelessly under the spell of the exotic  Michelle—a Filipino beauty who is the sister of a young man Mick had befriended briefly back in college. Moreover, she perfectly fits the image of what has long been his "fantasy love". When Michelle pleads for his help, Murphy ignores what might have been warning bells under different circumstances and wastes little time agreeing to come to her aid.
            What Michelle draws Murphy into is a bizarre chain of shame and family honor threatening to culminate in savage revenge for past abuses. Murphy has contacts, Michelle insists, that can help her provide warnings to prevent this retaliation. It soon becomes apparent, however, that the warnings aren't going to be enough—and before it is done Murphy's choice to ignore those personal warning bells early on come back to haunt him when his involvement damn near costs him his own life!
            This is another title from another one of my fellow authors in the Hardboiled Collective. Good writing, good protagonist, good book. Don't miss it.

Persevere --- WD 

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