Thursday, May 15, 2008

Review: Capitol Reflections, by Jonathan Javitt

Marci Newman is a healthy woman and high-powered attorney, so when she dies of a seizure on the floor of a courtroom, her best friend, Gwen Maulder of the FDA, suspects foul play. But Gwen, and her husband, as well as many others, find themselves in way over their heads when they uncover a sinister plot involving coffee, a Senator, and a major worldwide corporation.

In all, I didn't like Capitol Reflections. While the action was fast-paced and had me frantically turning pages (I admit I'm a bit of a sucker for action-adventure-mystery commercial fiction), I thought that a lot of the book was cliché, in a way. The characters are all stereotypes for the genre and don't have much three-dimensional-ness to them. The bad guys are all a part of a secret group called Tabula Rasa (Clean Slate in Latin--how predictable) a la the Da Vinci Code, and it doesn't take much guesswork to figure out straight from the beginning who Ops One is.

The writing is choppy and the plot dives off into different tangents--some characters are involved in the Asian sex slave trade, another used to be a German SS officer--and the ultimate demise of the bad guy was disappointing to say the least. There were parts of the book where I thought the author veered off into sexism, especially in the brief scenes with Henry Broome's wife. And some of the scientific jargon in the book made my head spin. In all, I'd only recommend this book to hard core fans of the genre, and even then only because you have nothing else to read. The book just doesn't live up to the hype it was given.

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