pinterest-7bf66.html Reviews by Peter: 30 Days Hath Revenge by C. Kevin Thompson

Saturday, 6 May 2017

30 Days Hath Revenge by C. Kevin Thompson

30 Days Hath Revenge

Book 1 of the Blake Meyer Thriller Series!

A Clandestine Mission. A Cryptic Message. A Chaste Promise.

Blake Meyers dreamed of a peaceful end to a dutiful career with the FBI. Married now, his life was taking him in a new direction--a desk job. He would be an analyst. Ride it out until retirement. Be safe so he could enjoy family life.

But when a notable member of the IRA is murdered in his London flat, Blake's secretive past propels him into the middle of an international scheme so twisted and sadistic, it will take everything Blake possesses--all of it--to save the United States from a diabolical terrorist attack.

The Guru's Review: 

Reading this novel gave me yet another confirmation that just because this is a debut novel it does not have to be a dud or you feel the author needs to put in more hard yards before they publish next. 

I was immediately taken in by this novel. Not just with the plot and charactersation but with the writing. Thompson writes very well. It is immediately evident. This is one very strong asset to him as an author. His command of the English language and how he constructs it for this novel forms one very solid foundation upon which the plot, pace and charactersiation rest. It did not surprise me to discover that Thompson has won Awards for his writing, the first edition of this novel was a Silver Medalist in the Readers' Favorite 2013 Book of the Year Awards in the Christian Fiction category. 

The pace in this setting is frenetic. It never lets up. It is this that keeps you coming back for more. In some novels of this genre and calibre, it can end up with the characters being in a plot driven storyline and the main character being taken for a ride with the fast paceness of the plot. Here, the reader can feel that everything is happening to the main character or characters and they have no or not much control over what is happening to them. In this novel, Thompson has avoided this pitfall. It is very much a character driven plot. This lends itself very well to Blake being able to use his extensive experience and knowledge of his field to find out answers to the terrorist threat to his present and that of the world's population.

Just as Thompson has an excellent, competent command of the English language, the same degree of expertise can be said for the construction of this novel, the characters but especially the plot. There are no thin areas of plotlines, characterisation or pace. There is depth to all these aspects. Blake is one self-made man who knows who he is and what makes himself tick. He is extremely relational and even before the events and characters of his past start to influence him, Thompson has developed him enough to have the reader endeared to him and on his side. This bides well when the events of his past threaten him and the rest of the world. You are already on his side and rooting for him. Doing it this way establishes his credibility as a character and gives the reader the confidence to continue to read without any doubt of Thompson's development of Blake. 

Another aspect of Thompon's characterisation is the layered construction of the plot and how this affects Blake. The terrorist plot that exists in Blake's past that is now affecting his present also adds layers to the professional and personal life of Blake and his family. It sets the stage for him to show how versatile and resourceful an agent he is, in simultaneously fulfilling the responsibilities his profession as an Agent and protecting his family. 

I can see why Thompson is successful with this novel. He as researched it well and applied it effectively. Clues to this success can be found from his Amazon bio: 
He is a huge fan of the TV series "24," "The Blacklist," "Blue Bloods," "Designated Survivor," and "Criminal Minds." He loves anything to do with Star Trek, is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, and reads lots of books.
Apart from Blake, I have a soft spot for Harrison Kelly. I really enjoyed this character. It is an asset for an author's ability to successfully depict the nationality of the character. While reading the sections involving Kelly and Blake, I felt very much at home with his mannerisms and language as Thompson has depicted Kelly as pretty much how us Australians speak and behave. 

I also enjoyed Agent Julee Scarfano. She seems a more than capable operative and is very good as being a go-between for Blake and Connell when Blake needs to bypass the restrictive rules and regulations of the FBI in order to go rogue. I hope that Thompson includes Julee in the remaining 5 novels in this series. The almost love-hate relationship between Connell and Blake adds another layer of suspense that I enjoyed. This seems to be a characteristic of novels in this military, special ops genre. I never get sick of the main character thwarting and bypassing rules and regulations to get things done in dire circumstances of a mission when rules and regulations would restrict its outcomes. Connell seems to waver between sticking to the confines of the FBI operation procedures and giving Blake what he needs within this. He fails miserably and nearly loses Blakes respect for him or at least has it damaged. 

This novel is described by Thompson and others as a Christian thriller due to its exclusion of sex, profanity and other gore. I would challenge this. These exclusions make this a clean read and that does not make it Christian. Some secular authors write clean reads with these exclusions and their novels are far from being Christian. 

What makes this a Christian thriller is the inclusion of spirituality based on Biblical themes and doctrines and who God is. There is only a little of this in this novel. I felt that if it was omitted, it would not have any great impact on the overall plot or even on Blake to whom it was directed. Consequently, this omission would have made it a clean read and indistinguishable from a secular novel. However, with this inclusion, Thompson gets Blake thinking about the meaning of life (cliche not intended!), the question of evil and its effects on the human race and where he all fits into this. There was potential there for Thompson to develop this further and as a result, develop the character of Harrison who is the sole Christian character and who provides the spiritual/ biblical input to Blake. I hope that this is included more and developed further in the sequel, Triple Time, and the remaining books 3-6 that are to come over the next few years. 

Maybe I expected more of these Biblical themes and spirituality due to the fact that Thompson is an ordained minister. I have found from reading other novels from Ministers/Pastors they have no problem including Biblical themes of redemption, salvation, evil, death, spiritual warfare, sexuality and other themes concerning the ills of this world (suffering, addictions, domestic violence, to name a few) in greater detail than what Thompson has, without it being preachy or "fire and brimstone" type narrative. 

The above is the only shortcoming I see in this novel. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and the writing ability of this author. I am glad to have approached him to write a review and be part of his launch party for this series. 

Strongly Recommended. 4/5 Stars.
World Building 5/5

Characters 5/5 

Spiritual Level 3/5 

Story 5/5 

Enemy Spiritual Level 0/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

To buy or read a preview of 30 Days of Revenge, click on the BUY/PREVIEW icons below:

No comments:

Post a comment

Thank you for your comment. It is awaiting moderation.