Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Tsunami Connection by Michael James Gallagher

Tsunami Connection
Tsunami Connection by Michael James Gallagher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tsunami Connection is an action packed, political thriller.

Kefira, a sleeper agent in Mossad, loses half of her team when an RPG hits their helicopter and explodes into a fiery mess. Determined to find those responsible for the bomber, she tracks down the likely suspects with the assistance of a charismatic team of agents. But, what she learns may be more than she can handle.

What I like most about this book are the richly described locations. The author has obviously drawn from extensive research and possibly personal experience to bring them to life. The people, the culture, the details, all work perfectly. The locations I enjoy from the book the most are Canada, Argentina, and Egypt.

I learned a lot from this book: terminology, exotic animals, and cultural information. The author defined some of them in the narration, sometimes a few times, but others I had to Google (a lot). Perhaps I'm just not all that well traveled, but in the first several chapters I had to Google every few pages to look up terms like "Weaver Stance," which was used to describe how a character was holding a gun. Having to drop out of the book to figure out what the author was talking about, distracted for the story at times, which is probably one of the reasons it seemed choppy and hard to follow in places.

The temporal jumps also distracted from the story at times. Sometimes you would flash back to Kefira or Zak's youth or childhood; sometimes, you'd flash back a year, a week, etc. True, the author indicates the date for each chapter as part of the chapter heading, but as I typically disregard chapter headings I'd usually get a few pages in before realizing something was up. Then, I'd have to flip back to see what I missed. It got easier near the end of the story because I learned to pay attention to the cues.

The story features several erotic scenes, most of which are way more mechanically detailed than I feel they need to be. I prefer romantic scenes to be just that, romantic. These weren't. It was all about what was going on, very little emotion or feeling. However, that isn't to say there isn't romance. I love the interactions between Kefira and the older Argentinian dancer, very sexy and heartfelt even though the two don't actually get together. I also felt a deep connection between Kefira and Michael. Strangely, the romance between Kefira and Zak felt flat to me. I just didn't emotionally connect with the two of them as a couple, though I liked each as an individual.

As for the link to the title, Tsunami Connection, there is mention of a submarine with the capability to produce tsunami's, but I felt the story failed to make a connection between Kefira's activities and the rogue submarine. I believe, and this is a pure guess, that this first book introduces the idea of the submarine, but focuses mostly on background and character development. I expect the next installment in the series to focus on the submarine and stopping it from wreaking havoc in the world.

Overall, Tsunami Connection is a meticulously researched political thriller. People who enjoy exotic locations, spy thrillers, or political intrigue might also enjoy this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest, non-reciprocal review.

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