Michael Karner and Isaac Newton Acquah approached me and asked that I read and honestly review both their short story and novel. I completed a review of the short story towards the end of last year, leaving me with this longer piece. The story’s focus is Antoine, a man who was an agent with the CIA, left for dead after a failed mission. Using his connections he is able to resurrect himself in a secret life, far from his wife and child, situated now in Austria. However, the Agency learns of his existence and sends a hit squad to rub him out for good. Meanwhile, Antoine and his network learns of a major terror plot in Russia, one where a renowned terrorist seeks to cause massive damage in her own country. Working to neutralize the bomb and keep the target from succeeding in other means is at the heart of Antoine’s mission, even as he dodges bullets meant for him. An interesting tale by Karner and Acquah, scattered as it ended up being. Perhaps worth the inexpensive investment at Amazon, though I am not sure this is at the caliber of what I am used to reading.
The premise is strong and readers who take the time to digest the short story beforehand will have a little better understanding of the entire Antoine premise, though even then, you have to be on your game. For me, I surely was not. Perhaps it is stuff on the periphery of my life that kept me from investing the needed time and attention into this novel. I could not easily follow its flow, I found it scattered and jilted and really out of sorts I am not sure if it is me, or the authors, but I feel it might be a bit of both. There is much to be excited about in here; the novel does move ahead and make a semblance of sense. I must admit I did thoroughly enjoy the use of quotes and the beginning of each chapter, only to have them included in the story at some point. Brilliant move.
Decent work Messrs. Karner and Acquah, though this did not grab me as I would have liked. Perhaps there is a kernel in here, and I suspect other readers will find it. For me, it did not POP.