3 out of 4 stars
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This spy thriller follows C.I.A. agent Jay Wilson and his fellow agent and wife, Tiffany Wilson. They are assigned the pivotal task of saving the Ukrainian president to protect the country's voting abilities to prevent Russia overtaking the country. Once they arrive in Ukraine, the couple attends secretive meetings with a group of international agents. Jay and Tiffany are split up and partnered with other agents to go undercover and find information on how to stop this impending presidential assassination. Relationship problems and problems with completing their mission soon become rife. Amidst secrets, fellow agents dying and a possible traitor in their group, Jay is unsure of who he can trust while trying to succeed in this dangerous mission.
Four Critical Days by Edward Vogler has an interesting plot. The story contains many action-packed moments, including shocking shoot-outs and car chases. I enjoyed the usual spy elements, like undercover agents, hidden doorways, and special gadgets.
While the story is intriguing, the book suffers from a few short-falls. The writing style is quite odd, at times. Interactions between the characters come across as unrealistic with stiff actions and dialogue. This seems to be due to underdeveloped characters. The romantic relationships are also clumsy and a bit cheesy. This excerpt shows one of the odd romantic interactions between two characters who are practically acquaintances, "’[s]he gazed into his eyes. Any fear she had disappeared, whisked away like a butterfly caught in a strong gust of wind. You’re so wonderful and squeezed his arm while excitement rushed through her veins. ‘And I have needs too.’" The romance throughout the book seemed forced and didn't fit well into the story at all. Writing romance doesn’t seem to be Vogler's strong suit.
The errors in quotation marks shown in the excerpt above are also extremely common throughout the book. There are often quotation marks missing or in the wrong place. The transition from dialogue often does not distinguish who is speaking, causing confusion for the reader between dialogue and actions.
Unfortunately, I don't believe Four Critical Days was professionally edited. The improper use of quotation marks, under-developed characters, and stiff romance all hinder the flow of the book. If the author improved his writing style and fixed the errors, this book would have been phenomenal. The story line was really gripping, especially halfway through when the plot becomes captivating with twists and turns. Overall, this was a decent spy thriller and I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the errors and clunky writing, I would still recommend this book to adults who enjoy spy novels, thrillers, and action-packed tales.
Four Critical Days
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