Those of you who know me also know I love a good conspiracy. Wrap one up in a fast-paced action-packed thriller and I’m a goner. Brett Battles has written such a book: SICK. That’s not “sick” as in depraved or gruesome, but sick as in a swiftly spreading and relentlessly lethal flu virus.
I loved this book. I don’t say that often — and not just because very few people care what I think about the books I’ve read — simply because it’s rare for me to discover a book I think deserves unqualified praise. This one does. I stayed up very very late two nights in a row last weekend, reading an advance copy of this ebook. If you love thrillers, I wouldn’t advise starting this one on a night when lack of sleep is going to be an issue the next day.
This is the first book I’ve read from Brett Battles, though I can’t imagine why, as it’s certainly not the first he’s written. I’ll be remedying that oversight in the near future. I love it when I find a terrific new-to-me writer and they have a backlist for me to devour in my spare time. What? You scoff? Yes, I have a wee bit of spare time. Even I need to take an occasional break and just read.
I’m not much for writing reviews and probably I’m going about it all wrong by not detailing the plot [you can read the synopsis (and buy it!) here at Amazon, and the gripping first few lines here at Murderati], but below is the review I’ll be posting at Amazon. As soon as I remember how that all works over there:
Brett Battles’ novel SICK starts with a gut punch to the vulnerability of anyone who has ever loved someone and feared losing them. Then it throws in dark hints of a highly organized conspiracy perpetrated by an apparently well-funded group masquerading as an entity of the government.
Next thing you know, it has wrapped a strong hand around the back of your neck and is whispering harsh and urgent in your ear, “Go. Run. You fail to keep up, you so much as stumble, we all die.” Then it throws you off the edge of a cliff, ratcheting up your paranoia and adrenaline in a race to the finish.
I love it when that happens. Well, in a book anyway.
SICK is an edge of your seat thrill ride with well-developed characters and a compelling storyline, detailed by the workings of a marvelously fertile and wickedly inventive imagination. With SICK, Battles has written one of the best thrillers of the year.
A word of caution to those who like a story where all the threads are wrapped up in a neat pretty package at the end: This book is the first in a series. There are a few things left unresolved here, some questions left unanswered. Which only makes me that much more impatient for the next book, already an auto-buy. Luckily for us (and for him), Battles writes fast.