Review of Lost Conscience by Naval Thriller Author John R. Monteith

4.0 out of 5  stars Standout  Military Adventure,September 10, 2012

By John R. Monteith “Rogue Submariner”  (Farmington Hills, MI United States) – See  all my reviews

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This  review is from: Lost  Conscience: A Ben Baker Sniper Novel (Kindle Edition)

The aha  moment when you realize this story is special is when you try to reject the  premise of the main character. You refuse to swallow that an Army sniper,  martial arts expert, attorney, philosopher, and family man exist in the same  character. You claim that the author has cheated by concocting Ben Baker because  he’s too perfect for playing a high stakes game of mortal danger. Throw in that  Baker has a conscience, and you’re in for a tale of man-versus-self conflict, on  top of the good guys-versus-bad guys challenges. Too dynamic a character to  believe until you check him against the author’s credentials, raise your  eyebrows in belief, and dive into an engrossing tale where you get to cheer for  a unique and complex hero as he stomps on scum you love to hate.

The  story is tight and consistent (i.e. no wasted tangents, no contradictions). I  thought the balance of action and supporting narrative was good, and I was  surprised for a first novel how complete the development was for primary and  even secondary characters without interrupting the pace.

Of course, the  violent conflicts are written with the authority you expect from an expert in  killing. In fact, the detail in the violence may be too much for some readers,  but the author arranged the scenes so that you can skim over a paragraph of  joint-locking or pistol-disarming detail and return to the story without missing  a step in the plot.

The author also risks showing a tender side and  writing from the perspective of a young girl in certain scenes. It was a bold  move, but it paid off by adding to the ire you feel for the bad guys who like to  abuse children.

The novel fell short of its fifth star on style points.  There are the rough edges of word choice, economy of words, and sentence  structure that most first-time novelists create, and the author faced a unique  challenge of having to unlearn any habits picked up while writing legal  documents and martial arts instruction books. Even with the hiccups in style, I  found myself racing through scenes with a hunger to see what happened  next.

The main character sets the stage for tons of intriguing conflict,  and Mr. Burrese squeezed every ounce out of Ben Baker. I hope Baker gets some  rest and finds new guys to stomp in a sequel.

This review was first posted on Amazon

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