A Clean Death by Adriaan Verheul
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|A Clean Death by Adriaan Verheul|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: A thrilling tale packed full of fateful decisions and terrible consequences, Due to author Adriaan Verheul’s past as a UN Peacekeeper, A Clean Death has roots in truth, and feels both immediate and timely.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 321||Date: December 2017|
|Publisher: Amazon Media|
|External links: Author's website|
Three very different men meet in the jungle, led there by fate. Davey sees conspiracies everywhere, Oliver seeks answers about the death of his father, and Captain Christmas leads a community of armed men, women and children, hidden far from justice in the forest. As the three men are brought together, the events could cause each to lose something of consequence: maybe an illusion, maybe conviction, and maybe, just maybe, life itself…
Author Adriaan Verheul is based in Virginia. Following spells as an academic with the Dutch navy, UN Peacekeeper, World Bank bureaucrat, and an independent foreign affairs consultant, Adriaan now enjoys tinkering on his boat, and writing. His career has taken him to conflict and disaster zones on four continents, ending up in the business of demobilising rebels and soldiers after civil war. That experience clearly plays a huge part in shaping this book – and it enables him to cast a sharp eye on the world, utilising his characters to explore dark situations. Told in a prose that pushes the plot along at a rapid speed, Verheul nevertheless allows room to build both his world and his characters -and whilst I did initially find that the descriptive passages slowed down the pace somewhat, they built up such a strong picture of characters and settings that it allows the author free reign to really put the pedal to the metal in the latter third of the book, as the tension and action truly ramps up.
Telling the tale from the perspective of three characters allows Verheul to explore a range of viewpoints, and he intertwines their stories cleverly, moving backwards and forwards to build nuance and tension in the character interactions. The characters are built well, and the dialogue is strong – so combined with the well-crafted plot, the elements are in place for a superb read.
One thing that I enjoyed – although some readers may disagree, is how vague Verheul keeps things - organisations and nations are described but not specifically named – and whilst many can guess at where Verheul may have taken his inspiration from, that vagueness allows the reader to allow their own experiences and knowledge to shape their understanding of this tale to a certain extent.
Clever, compelling, and current, A Clean Death is part thriller, party conspiracy saga, part murder mystery, and part character study. Told from compelling viewpoints and written with true experience behind events, this is a gripping read that will hopefully be the first in a series.
Many thanks to the publishers for the copy, and for further reading I recommend After The Crash by Michel Bussi - another compelling thriller told in an original fashion.
You can read more about Adriaan Verheul here.
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