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Ok, with the move I do not yet have a new library to start raiding.  So last week I hit up the bookshelves of the folk I am staying with and came across Forsyth’s Avenger.

Now this is the sort of thriller that is not full of action on every page but directed towards the questions, will the hero suceed or not?  It is also driven a little bit by the fact that the date of the action is just before September 11, 2001 and you wonder if this is part of the plot or not.

At the same time as finishing this novel I started reading What do they Hear?  Bridging the Gap Between Pulpit and Pew by Mark Allan Powell.  One of the ideas that Powell raises is who do we empathise with in a story.  You see Powell mentions he used to empathise with James Bond and not the bad guys in James Bond films.  This makes Avenger a little awkward as a read as the only person I truly empathised with is not really in the novel they just get a couple of mentions.

Overall this then made me wonder why did I persevere?  The answer is mixed, part of it is that Avenger is written as a series of character studies and how characters interact.  You wonder what connections are and how it will all work out, you hope the bad guy will get what he deserves but are never sure if he will.  Yes there are plot elements that are contrived, gruesome and you wish were not there but the novel does raise the idea of how well do we know our neighbours, could our lawyer really be a person who takes vengeance for a righteous cause when asked and paid enough?  Or as a professor put it do we realise how close to being a murderer we all are?  While not the aim of the novel it makes me think of a little more than I expected but not enough to give it 5 stars.

Have a great weekend.



David Morgan, lecturer, theologian, husband, father and blogger.
March 2008
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