Top positive review
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A Fantastic Debut Novel, For A Thrilling New Author
on 29 March 2011
It really is difficult to believe that this is Layton Green's first foray into the world of thriller writing. In Layton, we have an amazing new talent, together with a strong and instantly established new character, in Dominic Grey.
I should say straight away, that this is not a book for the faint-hearted, or those of you with a weak stomach.
I suspect there has been great thought about Dominic and his path for future adventures, before Layton has taken pen to paper, with the result being a character that has great depth and strength of character, right from the opening page.
We get to know about Dominic's own troubled past almost immediately, which straightaway forms a bond between him and the reader. From his violent and abusive childhood; his struggle to strengthen himself in mind and body, so that `The Sins Of The Father Shall Not Be Visited Upon The Son'; and his continuous, ongoing battle to maintain that equilibrium and balance in his life. His ethos and beliefs are that he can control his demons and use their power to help people, he operates only on facts and keeps a clear set of morals.
All these emotions and reactions are layed bare by Layton, so that the reader can almost get inside Dominic's mind, as he plots his next move.
Layton seems to have built a central core of two other characters, during the course of this story, who I think Dominic will ultimately take with him, on his future adventures:
Nya is the perfect foil for Dominic's fragile volatility. Calm and dispassionate in her work, whilst all too aware of the plight of many of her fellow Zimbabweans. She is trying desperately to hold on to her strong Christian faith, instilled in her by her father, but is constantly being tested as to it's validity and worth.
Victor is still, even at the end of the book, quite a strong, complex character who hasn't yet been fully exposed as a recognisable force in his own right, although as Dominic's new employer, his personality should begin to unfold with time.
Layton has managed to strike a good balance between being informative about a country, with it's obvious inherent political and social problems, without bombarding the reader with a `Party Political Broadcast' about the situation.
Through his fantastic use of the English Language, he eloquently portrays vivid images of the beauty of this troubled country; its sights, sounds and smells coming alive in their descriptions. You can almost `feel the landscape'.
The macabre, graphic and often troubling plot, evoked some very disturbing thoughts and managed to convey the palpable and obvious fear, suspicion, hatred and superstition, which is all too evident in modern Zimbabwean society.
The way that a people, in such obvious turmoil and looking for something tangible to cling on to, can be whipped up into a frenzy of `religious' fervour, is expertly crafted into the plot by Layton, making the book a true experience of human vulnerability.
The plot had many twists and turns along the way and several times I felt that I had cracked the secret of N'anga, only to be thwarted as the next chapter unfolded. In the end, the secret identity was a complete surprise and was a well thought out storyline, that few would have guessed at.
Some reviews have pronounced this book to be too `wordy' and have slated Layton for using words whose meanings have to be looked up. Whilst the latter comment may have been the case for me a couple of times, it only made me think about the writing more and concentrate on the content more intently. It is good to see the English Language being used to its full potential, without the slang and text speak, which has invaded our communication chain recently!! It was great to have actually needed to READ a book.
Layton Green is definitely a new force to be reckoned with in the genre of thriller writing, an author of the highest calibre.
The fact that this book was read and reviewed by myself, at the request of the author, did not influence my rating or comments in any way. In case you haven't worked it out yet ... I Love This Book !!!!
Bring on more Dominic Grey as soon as possible please !!