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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: The Consultant by Tj O'Connor

Called home by the brother he hasn’t seen in years, Jonathan Hunter arrives just in time to witness his brother’s death and hear his dying words, cryptic clues which plunge Hunter headfirst into a nest of terrorists planning to execute a series of horrifying attacks.

Fortunately, Hunter is a ‘consultant’ for the CIA, tasked with taking care of the dirty, deniable jobs Uncle Sam can’t publicly admit to. If anyone can solve the puzzle in time to save those at risk, it’s Hunter.

This is a brilliantly plotted thrill ride with some fantastic characters and excellent execution. I really didn’t figure out the mastermind until the author revealed it to us, and although there were a fair number of characters in the book the characterisation of each was good enough I was never confused about who was who. Hunter is a wonderful and often hilarious protagonist; though extremely competent at what he does he also has some hysterical accidents such as the concealed rake in the grass hitting him in the face as he’s patrolling a property. His occasional asides - they’re too short to really call them inner monologues - are pithy and exceptionally funny. Apparently, this is the first in a series, which is honestly great news because Hunter is absolutely a hero I’d love to see more of.

While there was a great deal to like about this book, it wasn’t entirely without flaw. There were a number of grammatical issues which made me think it needed a thorough line editing. One of the worst, repeated several times, was the author’s fondness for the term ‘exploded’, as in “Her beautiful dark eyes exploded.” In a book with violent scenes of death and graphic violence, that really isn’t good imagery to use, and a good line editor would have helped make that into something less jarring.

It’s a real shame about the editing issues. Because of them, I have to knock this back from five down to four stars, but it’s still very much worth a read for the great plot and characters.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.

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