Monday, February 27, 2017

Unquiet Ghosts by Glenn Meade

Meade has crafted a contemporary novel that portrays the after effects of the Iraq War. The plot revolves around Kathy whose husband, Jack, and two children were presumed to have died in an airplane accident eight years ago. Just recently the plane was found and the only body was that of the pilot. Officials think Jack and the children may very well have survived the accident.

The story behind the crash and the possible survival of Jack and the children unfolds very slowly, layer by layer. It has its roots in money and artifacts that had gone missing during the Iraq War. Things went wrong during battles and there were cover ups. Some benefited greatly from their war experience and will do anything, kill anyone, to keep their deeds hidden.

I had difficulty maintaining my interest in this novel. Much of it is written from Kathy's viewpoint. She thinks a great deal, sometimes pages of wondering this or that. I have to admit that I began skipping those sections. I always find it interesting when a man writes a novel with a woman as the main character. I think this time Meade way overdid the female thinking aspect, making the book bog down in many places. Other parts of the novel were written from the universal viewpoint. I did not like that and would prefer a consistent viewpoint.

Meade reminds us in a note at the end of the novel that much of it is based on actual facts. At least $8 billion of aide money went missing, as did many artifacts. Many of the soldiers saw horrific things and suffered PTSD, as did characters in this novel.

I have read other novels by Meade and I do not think this is his best. The plot is very complex. I couldn't count the number of times someone told Kathy that there was something she needed to know – another secret begrudgingly and slowly revealed. I did not like the characters. None of them made me feel sympathy for them, even Kathy. So many had their lives built on lies. Many of the twists in the book were just lies being revealed.

I think the book could have been shorter, with much of Kathy's thinking left out. I do recommend this novel to those who like to get into the mind of a character and are satisfied with action interspersed here and there.

This novel was originally scheduled to be released in February, 2017, but has been delayed until June.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Glenn Meade was born in Dublin and lives in Wicklow, Ireland while also spending time in the American south. He studied telecommunications and worked for a time in New Hampshire. He worked in the field of pilot training and has also been a journalist. He began writing well researched thrillers.

Howard Books, 432 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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