Monday 16 September 2013

No Way Out - A Karen Vail Novel by Alan Jacobson

No Way OutNo Way Out by Alan Jacobson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very good action thriller with all the normal fight scenes, car chases and James Bond type action. Good story line of CIA/FBI/MI5 operatives saving Britain from a terrorist attack. The main character Karen Vail I believe has been overworked as to me she was very unlikeable, gobby, know it all, with ego to match. She could have been toned down a little to make her acceptance with her peers more believable. Written for an American audience the author added various references to the differences between English and American English, one or two of these changes in language use is fine and makes the point, overuse makes them irritating, as does calling police cars "cruisers" .

The story was told at a fast pace with action in every chapter. This is the kind of story ideal for making into a movie, however I not sure Karen Vail would have the same appeal as James Bond. Although I have some misgivings the book is very enjoyable and therefore meets my criteria for recommendation.

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1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed it, John! A few notes…I wouldn’t say it’s written for an American audience; the point of view character is Vail, who’s American, so while the observations are hers, a dozen Brits have written to me thus far and told me they got a kick out of it because they saw their familiar locations being used in new and different ways (which was my goal). As for Vail being a know-it-all, I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you on that one. The real FBI profilers have told me they appreciate that I do not portray Vail as a know-it-all “super profiler.” She makes her share of mistakes—in fact, that’s part of what makes her feel real (another comment law enforcement officers around the world have made about Vail). While she’s really good at what she does--which translates into confidence--there are plenty of times when she’s not sure of the best way to proceed, doesn’t know what to make of something, etc. Particularly in No Way Out, she’s a “fish out of water” in DeSantos’s mission, in which she is truly filled with uncertainty. (That said, I agree with you: her "inner thoughts," often sarcastic or of dry wit, can come off sounding snarky or know-it-all to those who don't like sarcasm.) Lastly, there are numerous writing technique/grammatical reasons for using the word “cruiser” [an accurate term used by cops] for police car, but probably best not to perseverate on that single word when there are 120,000 others to enjoy :-). Anyway, thanks for your review, and I’m glad that you enjoyed No Way Out! Best-Alan