Top positive review
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Fast-paced thriller with plenty of twists
on 31 March 2010
Andrew Gross has, by now, stepped out of James Patterson's shadow and established himself as a thriller writer in his own right. With Ty Hauck, formerly a detective and now a private investigator, he has created a character with plenty of potential mileage. 'Reckless' is the latest in a series of novels with this character, who this time teams up with treasury agent Naomi Blum when his initial investigations into the death of a former friend quickly lead him towards a major financial plot.
Gross incorporates real events from the global financial crisis into the plot to add credibility, and uses the story to postulate what might have been or what could happen. This is particularly effective. Less realistic are some of Hauck's actions and the willingness of the police to share so many details with him, even though he is a highly respected former officer. But there is no doubt that this is a good read, packed with conspiracies and complex murky financial shenanigans which, whether the reader can follow them or not, still add up to a great story.
There is one nit pick which does continue to grate with Gross's writing, and which slightly mars the reading experience. Is it really necessary for characters to constantly address each other by name within a short conversation? This is particularly true of Hauck's conversations with Steve Chrisafoulis, his replacement as head of detectives, who apparently suffers from short-term memory loss and is unsure of who he is. That is the only possible explanation for Hauck to address him by name at the end of nearly every sentence. Other characters do the same when speaking to Hauck. It seems to be a device for Gross to avoid constantly using the structure 'said Hauck' or 'said Steve', etc, but it's plain irritating and unrealistic.
Apart from the above annoyance, 'Reckless' is still a great thriller with enough twists and turns to satisfy most readers of crime novels. It's not Jeffery Deaver, it's not Patterson at his best, but Andrew Gross is good enough to warrant close attention.