Sunday, August 10, 2008

Power Play - Joseph Finder

At the last minute Jake Landry is asked, or rather required, to attend an "off-site" with the top executives of Hammond Aerospace Corporation. This comes as a bit of a surprise to Jake because he's far from a top executive. But he finds himself en route to this resort in Canada where there are no phones or computer lines, not even cell phone reception. And while he's in the lush, lavish company jet, he's summoned to the CEO's private quarters. Here he encounters an old girlfriend, Allie, who is also the personal assistant to Cheryl, the CEO. Allie has recommended Jake to Cheryl as someone who can spy on the other execs and find out about a rumor that the Defense Department has been offered a bribe by Hammond to secure a contract. But the spying becomes far less important when they reach the resort and are kidnapped by a group of mercenaries who are demanding 500 million dollars in ransom.

I listened to this book on audio, and the narrator is excellent. I'm familiar with him from several shows on television.

The plot, however, left a lot to be desired for me. I have read a couple of Joseph Finder's books in the past and never found them to be as predictable as this one was. While I liked Jake as a character, I found him to be a little too unbelievable. When the occasion occurred that he was the only person who knew how to splice a satellite line because he happened to work for a cable company for a couple weeks one summer, I just kind of rolled my eyes and thought, "of course he did!"

Cheryl was supposed to be this highly intelligent superstar executive, and she believed that the mercenaries were "lost hunters" until Jake pointed out all the reasons they couldn't possibly just be lost hunters. I'm no Einstein and I figured that one out - Cheryl couldn't?

This book was also heavily gruesome. I understand that Finder was trying to drive home the psychotic nature of the kidnappers, but the gruesomeness didn't have a positive effect on my reading experience.

Overall the book was o.k. to listen to on audio. I recently gave up on Gorky Park, so it at least kept me interested enough to listen to the end. But it was a white hat - black hat kind of plot, and those are fine stories, but I don't feel that they challenge me as a reader. Finder has definitely produced better than this one.


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