Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: Basic Law by J Sydney Jones

Cold war is just over. Expat American journalist Sam Kramer, stationed in Vienna arrives for his ex-girlfriend Reneta Muller's funeral. Police is certain Reni's death is a suicide. Sam is named in her will as her literary executer. He suspects foul play when the manuscript of her memoir, which the publisher claims is a political time bomb is nowhere to be found.

His investigation to find out the memoir and eventually unveil the mystery of the death takes him to the center of a whirlpool of conspiracies involving politicians, Neo-Nazis, business men and corrupt policemen. The only key to get himself out is in their shared past.

Basic Law written by J Sydney Jones is a decent historical mystery set in post-cold war Vienna. It is an engrossing read with lots of twists and turns in its plot. The suspence is well guarded. Sam Kramer, the protagonist is a well sketched character. The writer does a commendable job in building up the atmosphere. It contributed a lot to the reading experience.

I felt at some point towards the end, that the narrative was meandering a bit. It seems the author got carried away while writing about a journey that the protagonist undertakes in the novel. Though well written, I feel it failed to do justice to the otherwise fast pace. But otherwise Basic Law is a good thriller, well worthy of the time spent reading it.

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