3 out of 4 stars
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After a long stint in the CIA and the army, Max Morano becomes a highly sought-after cat burglar, whose specialty is in compromising electronic gadgetry and doing the occasional wetwork. One night while on the prowl, Max alters his primary mission when he comes face to face with a shackled girl in Senator Hayes’ manse. He promptly, then, makes the break-in look like a burglary gone wrong and proceeds to confront the sleeping senator, an act that leads to the legislator’s death.
Michael Peck’s book Retribution brings into light the negative side of government lobbying. Even worse, the lobbyists are government operatives who occupy up to the highest political office in the U. S. Government. They’re not only corrupt and egotistical, but Max finds himself confronting an antagonistic adversary that’s well funded, coordinated, and with the backing of the underworld. Previously, however, the senator’s death drew the attention of top-notch police officers who are keen on unmasking the identity of the elusive killer.
Apart from playing their role effectively, the cops provide an additional source of conflict in the story. For starters, the profiles of the victims attract the attention of elite tactical units, such as the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), as well as the local police. Earlier on in my reading, I was subjected to a comical moment when the no-nonsense Alexandria P. D’s Chief of the Detectives, Dean Roberts, threatened to tase Robert Bauer, an FBI special agent, for trying to snatch the case from him. Additionally, the role of the CIA in the storyline is held in utter contempt by their contemporaries because of the unbecoming behavior of its director, Leonard Mason.
There’s never a dull moment in the story. Further, to accentuate the fighting scenes, the novel’s chapters are short (accounts for the whopping 153 chapters in a 338-page book!), fast-paced, and exciting. Besides, the role of the Russian Mafia and the use of some cool gadgets by Max do wonders in establishing a modern setting to the narrative, even though I found the language a little bit too unsavory for my taste. The themes discussed by Peck are also relevant to today’s world and include child prostitution, extortion, and family ties.
As I conclude, the novel has a few editing errors that I’d like to highlight, including misplaced words, misspelled words, and some typographical errors. The errors were also enough to cause me to reduce the rating of the book by a star. Lastly, because of the themes broached, I feel this is a book every high school student and adult should read. At the same time, it’ll be less suitable for readers who dislike strong language and violence in their novels. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars.
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