The Recruiter

The RecruiterThe Recruiter by Roger Weston
Series: The Brandt Series
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Published by CreateSpace on May 6, 2015
Pages: 234

 

About The Recruiter (from the back cover):
Nobody in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama knew who Chuck Brandt really was. All they knew was that he rented apartments to immigrants. What they didn’t know was that he was a recruiter of spies, that he was a legendary ex-assassin trying to start over and live honestly. His employer, a top secret government intelligence agency knew the truth. They should have known better than to target him. They should have left him alone. 

I have mixed feelings about The Recruiter.  I love the reformed assassin/villain storyline.  Political conspiracies and undercover organizations usually makes for great reading.  Add a bit of history to any of these and it’s even better.  This book has all these elements and I really thought I’d love it.  But unfortunately, the writing kept me from fully enjoying it.

I’ve read several self-published titles and oftentimes what sets them apart from traditionally published novels is the editing.

I’ve read several self-published titles and oftentimes what sets them apart from traditionally published novels is the editing.  That is the biggest issue with this book.  A good editor would have taken care of many of the issues with The Recruiter.

There are some grammar and typo errors, but these are minor and non-distracting.  At times the dialog is stilted and the flow of the story is a little awkward.  These are relatively minor too.  For me, the biggest issues are with the leaps of logic and placement of certain information.  From the first time I met Chuck, I was scratching my head on how he was making his deductions.  The information simply wasn’t there.  I read some scenes multiple times and never did draw the same conclusions he did.  A few times I could make the connections, but only several pages down the road when additional information was provided.  It’s these types of issues that prevents this book from flowing well and at times makes it difficult to keep reading.

While I tend to enjoy psychological storylines, the one in this book feels unnecessary.

While I tend to enjoy psychological storylines, the one in this book feels unnecessary.  It isn’t well developed and feels more like a reason for Chuck to survive some of his encounters rather than an integral part of the story.  Additionally, how this storyline is used, hampers suspense and the conclusion is vague adding to my questions about its purpose.

The story also suffers from character issues.  I feel as though Leslie is an expendable character and doesn’t serve much purpose.  Chuck’s reactions to certain situations keep him from being very relatable.  He’s a little emotionally flat.  At times there are hints of a conflict between what he’s doing and who he wants to be, but this is never developed.  There are opportunities to build a stronger rapport between the reader and the characters, but they don’t materialize.  This is another area where an experienced editor could have greatly improved this story.

Much of the base content of this book is really good.

Much of the base content of this book is really good.  The technology described and its possible misuses is certainly unsettling.  The content alone makes me really want to love this story, but the writing makes that hard to do.  This was Roger’s second book, so I don’t doubt his newer books are much improved.  However, the idea for The Recruiter is better than its execution.  For forgiving readers, looking for a good storyline, this book is a good choice.  However, for those wanting high quality writing, deep characters, and immersive storytelling, The Recruiter probably isn’t for them.

Note:  There is some strong language in this book, but fairly minor and mostly towards the end.

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