27 October 2009

Book Banter -- The Cleaner

Title: The Cleaner
Author: Brett Battles
Genre: suspense/thriller
Length: 464 pages
Where Word Nerd’s copy came from: Free from Bouchercon Book Bazaar
Plot Basics: Jonathan Quinn can take care of anything. He’s the guy called in to clean up crime scenes, dispose of bodies, make it so that there’s no evidence anything bad ever happened. When he’s called in to investigate a fire that is suspected of being arson, others in the criminal world take exception to his poking around. Quinn ends up in a race for his life, trusting only his apprentice, Nate, and a former colleague, Orlando, who blames Quinn for ruining parts of her life years earlier. The trio globe-hop to try to stay one step ahead of those that would see them dead and piece together the evidence to understand the secrets that could get them killed.
Banter Points: Hands down, this is the best global espionage book Word Nerd has read since she was in high school and first read Robert Ludlum’s Bourne trilogy and she’s glad Battles has two more books about Quinn out already. Quinn is a cool character, ruthless in his efficiency and yet human in his convictions about how people should or shouldn’t be used. Global conspiracy stories are, at least to Word Nerd, hard to make seem realistic, that any one criminal enterprise could really pull off what they are attempting. Battles created a crime that was scarily modern. Drawing on geopolitical events of the last 15 years, it was not hard to see the pieces of a crime like this actually coming to be.
Bummer Points: Sometimes the book felt like a little bit like a bunch of action sequences strung together. Granted, it made for a fantastic page turner, but the pace was so fast, there was hardly time to empathize with the situation that the characters were in. (If one can empathize with getting chase by global criminals…)
Word Nerd Recommendation: If you like stories like the Jason Bourne books, you need to become familiar with Quinn.

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