An Innocent Among Them
Jack Allen
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An Innocent Among Them

Jack Allen
Burping Frog Publishing
344 pages
July 2003
rated 2 of 5 possible stars
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An Innocent Among Them mixes murder, mayhem and military intelligence into a what ought to have been a rip-roaring thriller. There are Columbian drug lords, former secret agents, current secret agents, agent wannabes, spoiled rich girls, and decadent parties where the strangest people get recruited to become killers. On television, the world of hitmen and hitwomen looks glamorous, but in An Innocent Among Them a dichotomy emerges. Some are suave and debonair like James Bond, and others are bumbling and unattractive like Austin Powers.

The storyline is about criminals trying to avoid being caught or eliminated and agents who are empowered to overtake said criminals - or just blow them away. It is a bit of a shoot-'em-up cowboy story. The problem is that the plot, or what passes for it, is undefined and wavers all over the place. The characters are two dimensional and unbelievable. The settings are well-described, but they are populated by novel archetypes that foretell their own end. There are some good action sequences to punch things up a bit. There are some details about procedure, weapons, and tactics, which show either good research or previous experience. However, it ultimately falls short. What should be a mystery/military novel just comes out a mish-mash.

An Innocent Among Them is ultimately a good idea gone awry.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Camden Alexander, 2005

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