BOOK REVIEWS BY DEBRA HAMEL SINCE 2003.
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About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)







Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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Finder, Joseph: Killer Instinct

  Amazon  

“4

Jason Steadman's a personable, honest guy, a one-time frat boy whose easygoing personality is his primary asset. He's a salesman with Entronics USA Visual Systems in Framingham, Massachusetts, makers of high-end plasma screens. At the book's opening Jason isn't particularly interested in advancing his career, but his wife is another story: she's from a family of fallen blue-bloods and wouldn't mind slipping back up the social ladder. Jason finds himself able to satisfy her longing for a higher salary after a fortuitous encounter with a modern-day Renaissance man, ex-Special Forces soldier turned tow truck driver Kurt Semko. Kurt turns out to be a good friend to have: he feeds Jason information that helps him in his career, and Jason in turns gets Kurt a job with Entronics. Kurt is willing to do anything to help out his new friend's career, but his loyalty, Jason soon finds, comes with a high price. And breaking off the friendship isn't an easy option: as he continually reminds Jason, Kurt isn't the kind of guy you want as your enemy.

Finder's newest thriller is a quick read, written in conversational, first-person prose. It's exciting enough to hold one's interest, but not as tightly plotted or as gripping as Finder's 2004 novel Paranoia, with which it shares some similarities: both tell the stories of relative non-achievers who manage to climb the corporate ladder unexpectedly, with outside help, who let an old friendship lie fallow in the midst of their success, and whose self confidence increases, and integrity decreases, with each advance in position. One small complaint I have is that Jason's grasp of literary/historical references seems uneven: he alludes easily to Jay Gatsby and Luther's 95 theses at different points in the story, but elsewhere doesn't seem to have heard of Lady Chatterley or Captain Queeg. A more important problem is that Finder misses the opportunity to ratchet up the tension in his book by prolonging the conflict described in chapter 50 and subsequently putting one of the characters involved in that conflict in peril. Instead the problem is easily resolved, which is a disappointment.

All that said, Killer Instinct, if not as thrilling as the two earlier novels by Finder which I've read and reviewed (Company Man, Paranoia), is still well worth the read. Pick a copy up, and get one of Finder's earlier books as well.

Review summary: Finder's newest thriller is a quick read, written in conversational, first-person prose. It's exciting enough to hold one's interest, but not as tightly plotted or as gripping as Finder's 2004 novel Paranoia, with which it shares some similarities in plot: both tell the stories of relative non-achievers who manage to climb the corporate ladder unexpectedly, with outside help, who let an old friendship lie fallow in the midst of their success, and whose self confidence increases, and integrity decreases, with each advance in position. This time around the outside help is provided by a modern-day Renaissance man, ex-Special Forces soldier turned tow truck driver Kurt Semko, whose loyalty, Jason soon finds, comes with a high price.

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