In this debut action-thriller, a man’s ferocious search for his wife’s killer incites someone’s retaliation, putting him in grave danger.
When John Avery Malaki catches his wife, Elizabeth, in bed with his best friend, Bill, he demands they both leave the house. But the bad news keeps coming: A few days later, cops inform John that Elizabeth is dead from an apparent suicide. He’s skeptical, and the evidence agrees, eventually designating the death as murder and John as the prime suspect. But a taunting voice on his answering machine takes credit for Elizabeth’s homicide and suggests John lay low. He doesn’t comply and soon finds himself framed for another murder. John then goes on the offensive, turning the tables on and demanding answers from people suddenly trying to kill him. Using combat skills (the origins of which are unclear), he tracks down others who can direct him to Elizabeth’s murderer, with occasional help from a secret ally. It seems an organization with the acronym SOTE wants John dead, believing he’s learned too much during his corpse-riddled hunt for a killer. With both sides determined to mete out rage-fueled vengeance, the body count is bound to rise exponentially before it’s all over. Eaton’s book is rife with explicit sex scenes and violence. The sex is provocative, especially with consenting participants, but the action can be downright sadistic and lingers on the gory parts. There’s mystery as well, including murky backstories for John and Elizabeth. Though one twist is revealed early (perspective from a revenge-minded individual in SOTE), there are additional surprises, from shocking deaths to the identity of the person aiding John. The enjoyable story is unfortunately diluted by excessive blunders: misspellings (“Chlorophorm”), grammatical and punctuation errors (“Some was from both our families”; “My brothers other vehicle”), and alternating past/present tense throughout. An editor’s eye would be valuable, as beyond those mistakes lies writing that’s comical (Elizabeth’s suicide raises a “shit load of red flags”) and razor-sharp (“My anger quickly subsided, and shame walked in”).
An entertaining and distinctive revenge tale.