Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Robert Finn - Adept

Title: Adept
Author: Robert Finn

ISBN # 0954575911

Publisher: Snowbooks

First Published: 2004

411 pages

Format: Paperback

Rating: 8/10

It's a strange kind of robbery: nothing is missing and the only damage done is to the criminals. David Braun, star investigator for an exclusive insurance firm, discovers the truth that the crime was intended to conceal. Behind it all, is a ruthless thief, who is intent on acquiring a priceless antique - an antique with a bloody history its owners would prefer to keep hidden. Susan Milton, an expert in exotic antiques, must unearth the object's past to make sense of the present. When she takes on the project she has no idea that her research will put her life in danger. As David and Susan learn to work together the pieces begin to fall into place, but the more they find out, the less they believe. Caught between powerful enemies and being hunted by a killer the police cannot catch, their only hope is to stay one step ahead. They know enough to put them in the worst danger of their lives. Will it also be enough to save them?

I came to this knowing next to nothing about it, so I had no expectations at all, which makes a nice change, as I often have a little background to books before reading, whether it's through reviews or recommendations. It's rather mysterious yet rather down-to-earth and realistic in a way that Dan Brown's Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code were perhaps lacking a little. It's also set in England, which makes rather a refreshing change for this kind of thing.

There's a lot of intrigue, suspense and general mystery throughout, as well as some interesting characters that are very well-written. I got the feeling I'd want to be friends with David and Susan if I met them. I was especially glad they didn’t just jump into bed together the first chance they got (as is often the case with this kind of book).

I had to laugh when I came across a passage where David and Susan discussed the fact that James Bond always had exactly the gadgets he needs and never has any left over, nor does he ever forget to bring one along so that it's missed later. Susan commented that she was sure she'd seen a comedy sketch along those lines. I know exactly what she's talking about - it's Eddie Izzard and I know it backwards. I almost spoke the lines out loud, "What are you doing Mr. Bond?" and "I will sit in the back where I can see you with my eyes" (all done in a preposterously unidentifiable accent). It was a nice nod towards a timeless piece of modern culture and cleverly done.

I will most certainly be getting hold of the sequel, Ex Machina when I get the chance.


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