I’d love to say I met Gordon Bickerstaff on a safari in Africa where we were saving an undiscovered tribe from a horde of army ants using only our wits, a glass of water, and a half-empty Bic lighter, but the truth is I’ve never met the man and likely never will.
But it would make for an awesome story of heroism and bravery in the face of rampaging Mother Nature.
In a way, Deadly Secrets, the first Gavin Shawlins novel, is also an awesome story of heroism and bravery in the face of rampaging Mother Nature. It also features corporations run amok, secret societies, governments, and Russian special agents. In a nutshell, Deadly Secrets has pretty much everything you need for a quality techno-thriller.
The story revolves around a revolutionary new way of handling food. Whoa, back up there, cowboy; we’re not ready to read it quite yet. Like all techno-thrillers, Deadly Secrets needs something revolutionary to kick off the story. In this case it’s a food additive that will change everything, but comes with some complications. Revolutionary things bring in lots of money. LOTS of money. And money is the best way to get at the heart of the human beast. As soon as oodles of money become involved, things tend to spiral out of control pretty quickly. When it turns out the revolution has a fatal flaw, well, hell, that’s just the price of doing business.
Deadly Secrets wanders a bit at first – which is probably my only complaint about the story – as it introduces the main players in the game before settling into the bad guys being really bad guys and the good guys being fairly decent folk. There were a couple subplots that could have been excised, but overall it’s a cracking good read filled with memorable characters and a pretty spectacular climax that’s achieved in a non-standard way. I appreciated the cleverness of how Bickerstaff handles his major showdown while, at the same time, showing us just how awful the bad guys can really be.
If you like techno-thrillers that don’t go overboard trying to explain the technology, this is a great book. Deadly Secrets doesn’t get bogged down in technical details, it lets the technology take a back seat to the characters and the story. All in all, a great read and I’m looking forward to Everything To Lose.
By the way, never let it be said Twitter isn’t a good platform for promoting books. I found Deadly Secrets from meeting Gordon Bickerstaff on there!