Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book: Effected Intent by Alan Ross


The premise of this book is a pretty good one:  bioterrorism coming from a disenfranchised segment of our own population.

Unfortunately, that's as good as it gets.  The books randomly wanders backward in time.  The "hero" of the book is primarily stuck emotionally as a teenager.  He calls the prison office manager mom, and he talks and thinks about girls like a chaste fifteen-year-old (except during the flashbacks).

The point of view changes from person to person, and without notice.  Everyone's thoughts, including a chemist and high-level alphabet agency personnel, are immature and remarkably random.  There's gratuitous sex, and by that I mean that a main character picks up a girl in a strip joint and abuses her, badly.  It's not too graphic, but it has nothing to do with the story, except to make it more obvious that the character's a bad guy.  I like sex in my books, but this was just totally unnecessary to the plot, and the scenes felt like afterthoughts.  Next time, author?  Just leave them out unless they serve a purpose.

The chemist is a Vietnam veteran, and his first experience with The Wall is poignant and touching and probably the best part of the entire book.

The case is solved, singlehandedly, by the "hero," who happens upon boxes full of current network information for a major chemical company.  Yeah, because some major American corporation is going to just print out usernames and passwords, toss the papers into boxes and send them to the recycler.  Said recycler just happens to be a prisoner who mines all that information to snoop on the company's network and outfox everybody, including a CIA agent.  I suspended my disbelief for the duration of the book, because many things were implausible, even to my non-secret-agent knowledge.

Once the case is solved and the bad guys are caught in the act, the book ends.  Fffffft!  No loose ends tied up, no resolution for any of the characters, just done.  Buh-bye.

Bottom line is, I could have enjoyed this book, and have enjoyed others which presented similar theorems.  Instead, I was relieved to get to the end of the book, so I could move on to something else.

This review was based on the Kindle edition of the book, for which I paid $0.00.