As I had a couple of days holiday and a 4 hour train journey, I had time to read. So here is the review of one thriller and I'm halfway through the next. This one was quite innocent in its tone, no sex or swearing. But it did have some scenes of torture which came as a bit of a shock considering how the rest of the story was handled. I gave it 4 stars.
A young boy loses his closest family and is taken to New
York by his uncle. They are Jaharin, a fictional ethnic group without
statehood. When oil is discovered on the land they inhabit; their powerful host
is ethnic cleansing without the world noticing. We catch up with the young boy
Sami many years later and he now works in finance.
This story has many elements which make this thriller seem
eerily familiar; one group of people oppressed by a more powerful group, the
world turning a blind eye to a small ethnic group. And the all-powerful oil and
financial companies that put money before people. Sami is a sympathetic
character; he has made a success out of his life despite difficult beginnings.
Money and a cosy life has not made him immune to the plight of his people and I
can understand his need to help the Jaharin, even though the way he does it isn’t
legal. The romance between Sami and Sarah is developed slowly and with a somewhat
innocent touch. (Rather refreshing to not have any sex scenes!) The pace of the
book is slow and steady but keeps the reader engaged. The only criticism I have
is that the scenes of torture come as a bit of a shock (I had to skip a few
pages as I can't stomach animal cruelty even if it is fictional), it contrasts
sharply against the innocent romance of Sami and Sarah and the warm
relationship between Sami and his uncle. It does however illustrate that even
though life might seem comfortable and cosy, brutal reality (like the Syrian conflict
at the moment) is never far away.