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The Singer's Gunby Emily St John Mandel
Synopses & Reviews
Everyone Anton Waker grew up with is corrupt. His parents deal in stolen goods and his first career is a partnership venture with his cousin Aria selling forged passports and social security cards to illegal aliens. Anton longs for a less questionable way of living in the world and by his late twenties has reinvented himself as a successful middle manager. Then a routine security check suggests that things are not quite what they appear. And Aria begins blackmailing him to do one last job for her. But the seemingly simple job proves to have profound and unexpected repercussions.
"Mandel (Last Night in Montreal) attempts a globe-spanning crime novel, but the clunky, lukewarm result will please neither thriller aficionados nor more literary-minded readers. Anton Waker, a Manhattan water systems consultant, finds that his world is slowly imploding as his shadowy past as a document forger comes back to haunt him. Compounding his troubles is his alluring and Machiavellian cousin, Aria Waker, who is conspiring to reel him back in for one last big score. All the while, hard-nosed State Department G-woman Alexandra Broden is closing in on the forgery ring. Along the way — the narrative travels from New York to Canada to Italy — Anton must also come to grips with his crumbling marriage and an office romance. While Mandel's prose is brisk, the narrative reads like a slightly dressed-up B-movie screenplay — flat, stocked with one-dimensional characters, and relying on awkward flashbacks to explain away character motivations. But the biggest problem is the narrative's blandness: the sex isn't sexy and the violence isn't especially violent." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Taut with suspense, beautifully imagined, full of unexpected corners, desperate choices, betrayals and half-truths with deadly consequences, "The Singer's Gun" explores the dangerous territory between one's moral compass and the heart's desire.
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