by Thomas William Simpson
This is a mildly entertaining thriller that starts out with a lot of promise but loses it a bit about halfway through. It remains an ok read but I felt it was stretched out a little bit longer than it needed to be. The ending was hugely melodramatic but it wasn't like that wasn't telegraphed. In a book that is almost 600 pages I am going to expect something a little bit more epic than what The Caretaker turned out to be. That could be in part because of a decreasing patience or declining attention span on my part. I'm not sure. I can definitely say that if you are stuck somewhere for hours with no mental stimulation at hand this book could come in quite handy. You know the sorts of arenas of which I speak--places like auto dealerships, hospitals, corporate headquarters-- where all you can do is hurry up and wait. One thing which the author did which I wasn't too crazy about is to end sentences by alluding to the fate of major characters or letting you know who the bad guy is. If he did it once or twice that would be amusing or even exciting. It might make me curious. But there were constant references to wondering how a major character would be enjoying prison right now or explaining that it's too bad that another major character didn't know that he was dealing with a sociopath. Part of the joy in reading a book like this is in figuring out who the bad guy is, who the mark is, what the con is and what the motivations of the bad guy are. So much of that was given away so early that instead of being sucked in by the con, figuring it out and identifying with the so far clueless heroes and heroines, I felt a little separated from the protagonists and villains. Either they were too stupid or too obvious in their evil. The joy of being conned by stories like these is in figuring it out for yourself. Would you really enjoy a magician who instead of doing a trick for you explained in detail exactly how the trick worked even as he was doing it? Well some people would. Perhaps if while the magician was explaining the trick you were watching, he did another magic trick that you didn't even see until the end, then that might be ok? You could argue that that's what Simpson did here. Yes that might be the book's saving grace. But as I said I just thought it was a bit too long. Gunn Henderson Jr. is a tall stereotypical WASP Alpha Male salesman. He works for an unnamed shoe company (think Nike).
Gunn is the kind of man who doesn't feel that his day is complete unless he has proven that he's better than you at something. Gunn's a sharp dressed ultra competitive man who doesn't take any s*** off of anybody. Anybody. That includes his