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Decent premise, clumsy execution
on May 9, 2018
I hope you read this and avoid the mistake I made. I should’ve read the reviews and noted that the fans of this author largely thought of this offering as a dud.
The premise is intriguing, but the execution falls flat. The characters behave and talk like they’re imbeciles, even the ones who are highly educated and trained. I’ll elaborate on this, once the spoiler alert is posted. Unbelievable characters are amplified by unbelievable feats. For example, a woman standing in a dinghy on the ocean (pitching motion) a safe distance offshore, shoots an arrow from a primitive bow and splits the headpiece of a native up on land without injuring him, as an intended warning. The book is peppered with junk like this, which I consider the earmarks of pulp fiction.
The book is short and appears to have been running even shorter. There is an excess of chasing around the island, giving the feeling that its purpose is to inflate the word count.
The fleshing out of the decent plot line doesn’t make sense. (Spoiler alert) There is a small island off the coast of India that a billionaire wants to use to develop a resort. The hurdle is, it’s populated by a small primitive tribe. His solution is to kill them off. That’s a stretch, let’s continue. To accomplish this, he employs a thug and a small boat crew who aren’t particular about how they earn some money. Plan A is to spray a virus (influenza) on a bag of coconuts and throw them up on the beach to infect the natives. You can buy all the brain power in the world and that’s what you came up with? So this caper isn’t traced back to him, the mad mogul coerces a woman to pose as a government official with a mission to establish relations with the tribe and use that cover to recruit the fall guys. They select an Israeli woman living among a primitive tribe deep in a Peruvian rain forest, a Pakastani linguist hiding out in England (illegally) from pursuit by Hamas and a disgraced American ex-GI who has retreated to the deep woods of New Hampshire to drink and commit suicide. How would you even know about these people living well off the grid, much less find them? Leaping over that absurdity, you’re looking for a team that would make credible patsies to take the blame, after you made it appear that the natives killed them. There is no way anyone would believe that these three even knew about each other, hooked up and had any plausible motive to wipe out the population of the island.
As one might imagine, the dupes turn the tables and prevail. This could be fodder for a decent ending but, instead, they decide to dedicate their lives to protecting the island from further intrusion, with no valid motivation, and come up with an inane way of doing it that entails assaulting innocent people and destruction of their possessions.
Even with the minimal length, this isn’t worth your time.