Book review: Incitement by David Graham

incitement-220x330Goodreads Summary: 

A bloody massacre at a Mexican heroin refinery; a Miami-bound freight ship hijacked for its cargo of illegal narcotics; the ruthless assassination of a Kosovar drug lord – a war has erupted between two drugs superpowers.

As DEA Agent Diane Mesi investigates she becomes convinced that the conflict is being orchestrated by an unknown third party. But she is marginalised by her colleagues and her judgement is challenged at every turn. Only if she can expose the truth will she be able to stop the violence and save her career.

Michael Larsen is an ex-soldier and hired mercenary who has been contracted to fuel the conflict at every opportunity until it destroys both sides. As he battles his own demons, he hopes that by directing the violence he will attain some measure of redemption.

But neither Mesi nor Larsen know the full extent of the forces at play or of what is truly at stake. As they each pursue their own resolution, the violence escalates and they become increasingly isolated and vulnerable to the dangers that stalk them.

As soon as the book begins, the action starts. The mystery and sense of suspense hook the readers from the first couple of pages, which is a hard thing to accomplish. I, for one, absolutely hate starting new books, because usually I’m not interested in the beginning, but in this one, I definitely felt the tone for the rest of the book would be thrilling.

On the other hand, from the beginning I also didn’t really like the structure of Graham’s writing. I don’t want to be too English teacher-y, but the whole book is littered with passive tense verbs and run-on sentences. Besides the grammar and personal preferences, though, I enjoyed how Graham wrote with the intent of creating a thriller. His writing style matched the mood he set, which is important to stay consistent in the plot.

However, some parts are confusing. For instance, with the different character points of views, it’s difficult to remember or know who is talking. Plus, the layers in the story, while keeping it interesting, cause the book to be hard to follow.

If this were a movie, I’d place it in the docu-drama section, even though I know it isn’t based on a true story, but it is evident Graham did a lot of research on this topic. The style of the whole book seems very real and very technical. All the terminology, setting format, and character traits are very technical and precise. It’s like when you watch a CSI show or something and they all seem to well put together and use all these codes that you wouldn’t understand immediately. This adds to the legitimacy of the plot, but it also adds to the confusion.

So I did like all the layers of the story, but I almost think in some points it took away from the suspense because the readers’ brains are scattered on all different problems.

I enjoyed the book due to the suspense and thrill along with the very interesting plot and facts about the drug wars, but his writing style and layered plot confused me a bit.

3 Stars

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