Top positive review
Fast-paced thriller with entertainingly quirky characters
September 14, 2015
Can a no-name writer who has just lost his job and girlfriend stop the world’s second-best-selling author, a crooked literary agent, and a Big Name publisher from stealing his slush-piled blockbuster novel and undeservedly reaping the success? This is the central plot of The Slush Pile Brigade, a fast-paced modern thriller that reminded me of the books of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Daniel Silva, and Lee Child but with quirkier characters. The author in question is Nick Lassiter, who is the humble action hero in Marquis’s new Nick Lassiter international espionage series. When Nick and his three fish-out-of-water cohorts go to New York to confront the people who stole his book, they instantly run into unforeseen forces intent on thwarting them and their mission.
Without giving up the story, let’s just say they encounter a few issues along the way. Eventually, as the scope of their inquiries expands, they are soon in way over their heads, dealing with not only the author and his corrupt agent, but the NYPD, a Big time publishing house intent on protecting its literary property, and the Russian mob. This dangerous soup of characters and obstacles makes for a lot of action and conflict.
But what ultimately makes The Slush Pile Brigade a truly good read is not just the sustained level of suspense, but the novel’s authenticity and quirky characters. The book is also set against the moral backdrop of the 1% versus 99% (and first-class versus freight-class author) paradigm. The book also reminded me of The Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey’s funny look at ecoterrorism in the 1980s. Like Hayduke and his crazy characters in the Abbey book, Nick and his madcap friends are memorable and in way over their heads; making for a story that is instantly and entirely enjoyable.