I picked this book up when it was listed free on the Awesome Indies site, so I figured it would be a good read, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s everything a book should be, a tight, well-paced plot with plenty of action and mystery, a touch of romance, a wash of humour, endearing three dimensional characters who develop as the story evolves, and all written in engaging and immediate prose.
I think it would be a rare reader who wouldn’t find something to like about this book. The very idea of a job as a relationship assassin is interesting for a start. Not only what it says about our society, but also the complications ensuing from such a job provide plenty of possibilities for drama. What happens if you fall in love with one of your clients? Do you tell her? if you do, is there any hope of the relationship continuing?
The main character, Scott, or is it John, or perhaps Andy, certainly has a light take on his role in life, and his banter with Becky had me chuckling, but beneath the humour is a darker story. Scott has been playing different characters in order to seduce women and break up their marriages for so long now that he isn’t too sure who he really is. Who is this guy really, and what are the demons he keeps in his closet? His psychological process not only gives us compassion for the guy, it also gives the story depth because it parallels the plight of every man and woman who wears different masks for different occasions. Do you have a Mum mask, a work mask, a religious mask and a good-time mask? As Scott asks himself who he really is, we may ask ourselves the same question.
Another aspect of the story that gives us reason to pause is the way Scott approaches his target, like a predator with his prey. He gets his women because he turns himself into what they want. This could be a ‘how to pick up girls’ manual, except that if you want a long term relationship, then the facade will, sooner of later, come crashing down. After reading this a single woman may look more closely at that seemingly perfect guy that’s chatting him up and ask ourselves, are we looking for a real man or one to fit our fantasy?
This book is many things on many levels, but mystery is a major main plot device. On top of the personal level of the mystery of Scott’s identity and background, we have the mystery of Emma, the new worker at Infidelity Ltd and the mystery of who ordered the assassination of Megan and Declan’s relationship. Like all good mysteries, it gets sorted out in the end, the perfect finish to a great read.