Monday, February 22, 2010

The Breach by Patrick Lee

First, a word of warning about Patrick Lee's The Breach: there are some disgustingly gruesome scenes in here, including one that is almost Gretchen Lowell-worthy.

Anyway, I went into this novel expecting fast-paced, adrenaline-filled entertainment, and this is exactly what I got.

After spending more than a decade in jail, Travis Chase left Minnesota for Alaska. On the first anniversary of his release, Travis sets off on a solo hike, avoiding as many people as possible. A few days into the hike, he spots the wreckage of a plane. The crash is recent, but strangely, there is no sign of helicopters or search-and-rescue teams in the area. Even more disturbing, everyone on the plane is dead, and not because of the crash itself. They'd all been shot.

A note on the dead body of the First Lady puts Travis on the trail of two people abducted from the plane and, ultimately, to a mysterious object with devastating potential. Joining forces with a covert organization, Travis is plunged into a battle against an opponent who seems to be able to anticipate every move they'll make.

Lee keeps the pace moving at a fast clip with short chapters, and much action of the violence and gunfire variety. His storytelling is strong enough that even though there were a couple of moments that made me pause (a villain really wouldn't give directions that explicit in a text message, would they? And a little more of Travis's backstory would have been nice), it didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the book; I still had the impression that Lee was in firm control of everything. No wondering when the story was going to end, but instead, an eager anticipation of what would come next. All in all, a vigorous start to a new series.

Book source: personal copy

1 comment :

Neil Richard said...

I just finished reading it too and liked it. While the prose and action may not have been as flawless as a long-time author's, it was certainly above par for a debut novel.