Some of the best books out there are the ones that focus on the complexities of human nature. We all believe we are great people, that we have our limits, our morals, and that regardless of the situation we will stick to them, but the reality of that is naive. Hypothetical’s are just that…hypothetical; questions we can toss about like tennis balls on an empty court with no fear of consequence or loss. It’s not until that choice is staring you in the face that you find out who you REALLY are. Are you selfish, focused on your own preservation, with little or no thought to the trickle effect that inevitably ensues as a result of your decision, or are you a sacrificer; willing to put your morals, or even life aside for the greater good?
In Mark Chisnell’s thriller “The Defector,” Martin Cormac is about find himself knee deep in a labyrinth of life threatening games that will ultimately determine which one of these people he REALLY is.
Cormac is on the run, but not from what you would think. Though his job is kaput and his ego is scorned, these are just sidelines to what really has him scared. His conscience. Following a wicked wreck in which Cormac was ultimately responsible for, he high-tails it out of the country in seek of solitude and fistfuls of liquor, but…like most men unsure of their path his drunken stooper causes him to lash out at the wrong person. Thankfully for him, someone had his back, however…nothing in life is free. Suddenly finding himself indebted to a stranger he does the only thing he can think, make nice and save face, but before he knows it he is sucked into the seedy underbelly of a man addicted to extremely high-stakes games. Will Martin find a way to leave town before he gets in too deep? What will happen when the stakes suddenly include the only woman he has ever loved, and will Martin ever be able to fully trust anyone with his life again?
When I was first introduced to Chisnell’s book my gut said “Blah.” I’m not sure exactly what threw me off, (maybe the words “currency trader,” or the less than appealing cover art) but something had me heavy footing it in the opposite direction. Thankfully for Mark, my head is much more stubborn than my gut, and I decided to turn back around and give it a chance, (you know…don’t judge a book by it’s cover and all that of hokey BS.) To my surprise, MY gamble paid off. (insert victory lap) I was not immediately gone with the book (as I usually am when I like something) but quickly realized I couldn’t put it down. (which for anyone is a clear indication of good story telling.) The story however, (though well plotted and as smoothly written as anything else I’ve read lately) was not what had me so entranced, instead it was Chisnell’s characters and their tortured internal dialogue that kept me going. The games themselves (think…SAW only PG…if that’s even possible) served as an added emotional complexity to an already desperately confused man, and in the end resulted in a very pleasurable read.
So what did I learn from all of this? My gut, though loud, is NOT the boss of me, AND that Chisnell’s book, (regardless of the need for a good cover make-over) is a GOOD book. I’m glad I read it, and for those of you that like to THINK when they read…it’s worth the download.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: People are capable of moving past their instincts, it just takes a little more effort.
Click image for complete details.