I’m not in the habit of writing book reviews, but I thought I would let my fans know that yes, there are other books out there which are not written by me that are worth a look-see.
I had the good fortune of reading “A Thousand Bayonets” by Joel Mark Harris. Harris is, as his website says “an award-winning British-Canadian journalist, novelist, screenwriter and producer. ” Also from his website:
“A Thousand Bayonets won an Editor’s Choice Award from Author Solutions and won the Pinnacle Achievement Award for Best Thriller. It also was nominated for 2012 Giller Prize Reader’s Choice Award. The screenplay for A Thousand Bayonets won Best Feature Screenplay in the 2013 World Music and Independent Film Festival.”
People who know me understand that I am a cynic, and not prone to reading something just because a book has won an award or two. However, I am pleased to say that Harris does not disappoint with his literary effort.
Harris spins a good detective yarn, but with a newspaper reporter doing the investigating, not a detective.
When this reporter, John Webster, witnesses a murder, he embarks on a quest to find out who is behind it, and winds up getting caught up in a baffling mystery that ultimately threatens his very existence, and that of his most cherished loved ones. The intrigue deepens as he keeps hitting brick walls and dead ends during his investigation, even as the police make Webster a target of their investigation.
Harris does not stop with just a thrilling plot, however. Harris does well in constructing characters with depth to them, something that is refreshing in a time when the main characters of novels and movies often seem to be shallow superheroes rather than people we can relate to. As we read the novel, we feel for Webster as we see him work his way through increasingly complex and painful trials and tribulations time after time.
Setting is another element that Harris seems to master. We feel we are actually with Webster wherever he is, whether he is in a brightly lit newspaper office, a grungy back alley, a sleazy strip club, or a slummy apartment.
It is easy for the reader to get immersed in the book as the plot unfolds, and it is nice to see how Harris ties up everything nicely when the novel draws to a close.
“A Thousand Bayonets” can be found in paperback HERE, and as an ebook HERE. Loyal fans of Joel Mark Harris and of this genre may want the hardcover, which is also available. I would strongly encourage my fans to like Joel Mark Harris’s Facebook fan page as well.
Look to see one of my short stories published in an anthology being compiled by Joel Mark Harris in the near future. More updates on that will appear when the time comes.
Thomas D. Taylor