Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words
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“Stephen Pytak is a novelist who writes thrillers about the dark side of human nature. He also enjoys bringing his characters to life through art, photos and film.
As of February 2012, he has written and self-published three novels, written 3 songs related to his characters and produced them with three different musicians, and directed 5 films of varying lengths.
When not writing fiction, he works as a reporter for a daily newspaper. He resides in Pennsylvania.”
For more, visit his website.
“Corinn Michaels is an Internet criminal haunted by spectres from her past. The friends and accomplices she knew in college set her up. She did time. Five years later, a stranger in black asked her to resume her life of crime, to become a new kind of terrorist, to start a website for a mercenary called The .40 Caliber Mouse.”
This book is an action-adventure shoot’em up with one of the major characters positioned as the apparent bad guy, which is the kind of thing I wouldn’t typically like. It isn’t that it is dark. That isn’t a problem, nor does the main character have to be the good guy. But so often, these can feel like a bunch of gratuitous blood and guts with the bodies piling up and no other point. I need more than that. And I got it.
The something more, what really made the book, was the back-stories of the main characters. The apparent bad-guy (who seems much nicer than his actions would indicate) has a past that is mysterious and slowly comes out as the book progresses, which might not justify his actions, but keeps him at least sympathetic. There is also a similar situation with Corinn, the other main character, whose back-story is laid out up front, but how or whether she’ll be able to move beyond her past is an open question. This combination of action and psychological drama underpinning it all kept me engrossed to the end.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars