Act of Deceit: A Harlan Donnally Novel by Steven Gore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Steven Gore has very quickly, with just 2 books, established himself in the coveted marquee line-up of top male thriller authors. This, his third book, out Sept. 1st. is the first edition of a new series with a new character - Harlan Donnally.
I finished this advance copy of Act of Deceit by Steven Gore on saturday.
The remarkable aspect, which gives our hero Harlan Donnally such legitimate depth and believe-ability lies in Steven Gore's professional background as an investigator. The high end kind who can find out anything about anyone, anywhere in the world and make things happen with what he uncovers.
Fictional reality based in experiential reality, the very best kind.
There is no mistaking Gore's skill level, (he's published by Harper....), and the result is a very engaging, introspective character on a mission to keep a promise and make things right, in memory of the dying man he made that promise to. A man with a past he hopes to keep hidden.
Harlan Donnally is not easy to figure out, in fact we may never figure him out. He doesn't fit the mold of action hero, whatever that is these days, yet the qualities we might look for are there, in spades. Like many of us Harlan is a work in progress but sure of the origins of his expanding convictions.
Really good sub plotting, killer dialogue, transitions and narration that draws zero attention to itself, this novel introduces us to a different kind of guy. It's a high speed thrill ride through the seamy darkside of a very controversial issue with a single minded goal that requires some very hard choices by our man. Choices which may cost him his life. Yet he persists and pursues, finding himself up against formidable odds and bad guys in Mexico. The stakes are raised again and again and where most people would walk, no run, away he stays, stands and delivers. Harlan's way of handling things range from pure determination to raw brutality to ultra shrewd thinking. A masterful portrait and character sketch by Gore.
No assumptions, presumptions or cookie cutter anything in the dynamic.
Flaws? Sure. In spite of them his single mindedness to get the job done is what will keep this character in your mind and cause you to look forward to the next installment in the series.
As a reader you'll need to bring your A game, it'll be worth it, trust me.
As a writer - bring your note pad and an ice pack.
I think readers and writers alike will love the twists and turns and at the end you'll throw your head back, wipe the sweat from your brow and laugh.
.....you know where to find me......
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