Wednesday 17 June 2015

REVIEW: Bryce Allen - The Spartak Trigger

Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Bedlam Press
Publication Date: 16th March 2014
Pages: 150


A copy of The Spartak Trigger was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Bryce Allen in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Bedlam Press.

Anyone who visits the blog regularly will know I love to discover new authors, to me, especially when it is their first book. I liked the sound of this one when it was sent in and decided to give it some reading time. I got a surprise with this book. A pleasant one.

Shane Bishop has had his day as a cop. The job was taken away from him in disgrace. He now works for a firm as a professional set up artist. Firms hire him to go undercover, set up and disgrace an employee of theirs so they can fire them. There are many reasons for these requests. Bishop doesn’t really care as long as he gets paid.

His most recent job has gone wrong. His mark was killed but not by him. He is now caught up in an international web of industrial espionage that threatens to destroy the World Wide Web and plunge today’s society into technological darkness.

He is being blackmailed to help a tech firm get their hands on a years old microfilm to assist them in their quest. His prize is simple – be cleared of a murder he didn’t commit. Or is it as simple as he thinks?

Okay, I had a few problems with this book. Problem number one – how to classify it. Which genre to put it in to. I still have no idea. A thriller? A techno thriller? A – I don’t know really. It’s so mixed up.

Problem number two – how to deal with the confusion I felt while reading it. It sort of jumps about all over the place and was a bit hard to follow at times.

Problem number three – the way it is written. Our “hero” Bishop tells the story but has a “narrator” that adds or emits detail to the story as he sees fit. I still have no idea who this person was/is. It reads almost as if Bishop is schizophrenic or has an imaginary friend or is just plain nuts. He mentions in the story he has a weird form of Tourette’s and I still don’t know if this was just a cover or if that was really what was going on.

Problem four – I just could not put this book down. It is fantastic in its own way.

The characters are brilliant. They are an eclectic mix of rogues who are all out to fulfil their own agendas. It seems like everyone is heading towards the same goal but at the same time no one trusts anyone else and they all want to be the one to reach the prize first. I’m not going to tell you what the prize is or anything else about the plot because it would completely spoil it for you.

I loved the writing style in this. It is almost noir. You could imagine this story being set in the 30’s or 40’s. It has that sort of atmosphere and feel about it but deals with every aspect of our technologically advanced world i.e. the internet and how we couldn’t live without it. It totally draws you into the story. You will find yourself questioning what you are reading over and over. It’s like it doesn’t make sense but at the same time it is very compelling reading.

Writing this review immediately after finishing the book, I realise it is probably confusing and doesn’t make much sense to you but that is how this story makes you feel. You never know who is right, who is wrong, who the good guys are and who isn’t. You never know who to trust and even if they are real.

To summarise: a confusing tale of international industrial espionage. It has murder and intrigue. Chases across the world. What seems to be about five different groups all chasing the same thing and all trying to use the same person to get it.

Confused? You will be, but you know what? This is a story that will not let you go until you finish it. In many ways I’m still not sure exactly what I read but I do know I loved it. This book will stay with me for a long time and that is not easy to do when I read so much. I will read this book again and again. Reason for this being I might understand it more when I read it a second time but mostly because it was so good. If Bryce Allen keeps writing like this I can see him creating a very successful niche all of his own.

General rating:

★★★★ Super stuff. Recommended.

No idea what genre this is rating:

★★★★ Really good whatever it is.

You can buy The Spartak Trigger here:

Book Synopsis:

Disgraced cop and degenerate cad Shane Bishop now makes his living as a professional set-up artist, using his unique skillset to frame his clients’ enemies for various criminal offenses. When his latest job goes wrong and his mark ends up in a body bag, the ex-lawman becomes the prime suspect in a high-profile murder investigation – framed himself by a mysterious government agent.

In order to obtain a key piece of evidence that will clear his name, Bishop is blackmailed into performing various acts of industrial espionage upon some of the world’s most powerful corporations. He soon graduates to foreign intelligence work and finds himself in Russia charged with infiltrating a radical neo-Bolshevik terrorist group known as ‘Black October’ and retrieving a microfilm they’ve obtained which contains a Soviet-era computer virus that has the power to destroy the world…wide web.

Bryce appears to be very elusive and apart from his picture and a link for his website, I couldn’t find any more info on him.


You can see more of Bryce at his website.

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