Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Patriot Paradox / William Esmont

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Thriller

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


William Esmont and his wife live in Tucson, Arizona with a menagerie of cats and dogs. He has two additional books currently available, Fire (Elements of the Undead) (Volume 1) and Self Arrest. For more, visit Esmont’s blog.


What happens when ex-CIA analyst Kurt Vetter detects something fishy about his brother Mike’s murder? Assisted by Amanda Carter, a hard-to-nail-down agent from his brother’s past, Vetter starts digging and uncovers the unexpected in this spy thriller. This is the first book of a planned series featuring Kurt and Amanda.


Like most genre fiction, spy thrillers have their tried and true formulas, generally involving a conspiracy to uncover that left unchecked will mean, if not the end of the world, a disastrous outcome of some kind. Suspension of disbelief is required; is there any James Bond plot anyone truly believes could happen? I’m sure there are plot elements that push individual readers beyond what they’re willing to believe, but readers prone to object to this probably stay away from the genre.

Although spy thrillers are plot driven, my contention is that what differentiates one of the genre from another is how invested the reader gets in the main characters. If we care about them, we care about the story. The Patriot Paradox has three characters who are our potential heroes – Amanda Carter, and the brothers Kurt and Mike Vetter. Amanda is a riddle. We never learn much about her, and I only became invested in her because she was helping Kurt and appeared to be on his side. I suspect as we get to know her better in future books in the series this might change.

It is the two brothers whom we identify with and want to see succeed. It might seem strange that Mike, who is murdered in the first chapter, is a character we’re pulling for. However, Mike’s shadow is always present. His example is constantly pushing Kurt to succeed so that his death won’t have been in vain. This is something the reader will also want. The character of Kurt is a good person who has made mistakes and been through hell. His success is a kind of redemption we want him to achieve. Now I’m eager to see what is in store next for Kurt and Amanda.


If you’re offended by the infamous word that starts with the sixth letter of the alphabet, be aware that you’ll find it here.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four stars

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