3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
American Lease by K. D. McAdams is a very enjoyable crime thriller. Dylan Cole is a likeable and hardworking young man. However, he has a criminal record dating back to his varsity football days when he became hooked on performance enhancing drugs.
While walking his faithful dog, Montana, he stumbles across the body of a policeman and the policeman’s killer. He is then forced at gunpoint to help the killer escape. Despite being a victim in this scenario, Dylan finds the truth behind the old adage, ‘give a dog a bad name and hang him’. Because of his criminal record, the police and local people immediately label him ‘cop killer’ and treat him accordingly.
The driving force of the story is the hunt for a document (that may or may not exist) which leased what was then British America to the American Continental Congress. The 250 year lease is now due to expire and could potentially return large swathes of North America to the British Crown. Personally, as I drink my tea and wave a Union flag, I can’t see what all the fuss is about. However, had the lease been sold on, it might now belong to Russia or Iraq, so I can see how that might be a tad problematic.
I enjoyed this book very much, it’s fast paced and exciting, it contains some well researched history and a collection of likeable characters. To add to the story, there is Dylan’s battle with drug addiction. Though he has now been clean for nearly seven years, every day is a struggle, and the frustrations of his current predicament make the desire to drop out almost overwhelming. There is violence, but it’s not gratuitous. We also see the blossoming of a relationship, but thankfully are not subjected to any grinding sex scenes.
In some ways the race to find an ancient document reminds me of The Da Vinci Code, except that I found American Lease more enjoyable and I actually liked the main characters.
There are a couple of items that I found problematic. Firstly, England and Britain are used interchangeably, and the line ‘England was the largest and most powerful country in the world’ is wrong on more than one level. England is one of three countries that make up Britain, the others being Scotland and Wales. Britain ruled the British Empire which was the largest and most powerful in the world.
I was also confused over how some of the clues were followed (what made Abby go to page three of the document?), but then I struggled to follow the logic of the clues in The Da Vinci Code as well, so maybe it’s just me.
The book is well written, but it needs to be given to an editor. I found a large number of typos and the book would be much improved by their removal. Because of these problems with the book, I have given it 3 out of 4 stars.
This book would appeal to anybody who likes a fast paced crime thriller.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Helen_Combe's review? Post a comment saying so!