Saturday 16 March 2013

Book Review: Sutler...

The Kills Book One,
By Richard House.

Stephen Lawrence Sutler receives a phonecall that is about to change his life. His chance to set up a new military base and city is gone and he has nine hours to get away. They’ll set up money in an account only he can access, they tell him, but he has to disappear. Sutler had no choice but to listen to them. He runs.

All he has to do is transfer the money and create a new life for himself, but the situation is not as straightforward as it seemed. Accessing the money is harder than he imagined and now it seems he is being framed for the embezzlement of far more money than he was promised. A wanted man, Sutler has to put all of his energy into becoming someone else and getting to the cash.

Sutler is a political thriller and Stephen Sutler’s journey is rife with conspiracy, tension and at times confusion. Whilst he does not always seem to act in the best way to conceal his identity and purpose, he is nonetheless an interesting protagonist, perhaps because he is flawed; he does panic and get flustered like we do in real life, he does blurt things out and then have to create a story to support them.

The book is infused with video and audio clips that enhance the story, showing the reader elements of the characters’ lives that are not otherwise available in the narrative. This helps to round off the characters, particularly those who are not used as point of view characters as frequently as the protagonist. It also helps to connect the reader to the author’s vision.

This is the first part in a four book series called The Kills so as you would expect, particularly with it being a thriller, there is little resolution in this part of the story. Many questions are raised and many sub plots come into play which we can only expect will be explored and resolved as the series continues.

As the beginning of a series, Sutler is compelling and succeeds in creating empathy in the reader for the characters. The one thing Sutler is certainly not, is predictable. There is great scope for the story to continue from this point, and to attempt to imagine where it will head next would only lessen the suspense of waiting for book two. Aside from being a strong conspiracy-based tale, Sutler is also a triumph of descriptive prose and House brings the settings to life in rich detail.

At the moment you can get hold of Sutler for the price of a tweet: so there’s ample reason to give it a try.

Elloise Hopkins.

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