The Mickey from Manchester Series, Book 10
A quick and easy read.
The WSB appears to be in charge of Britain’s security forces in this novel. It is never clear what the acronym stands for, but the office seems to be an anti-terrorism task force. Their top agents Mickey and Melia are there to keep Britain safe from terrorists. Unfortunately, Melia is in the hospital and Mickey is busy looking after her, so it falls to Deputy Director Caulfield and Terry the IT guy to fill the void. With Britain on the verge of splitting from the EU, now is the time the terrorists will strike. There is also a Chinese delegation running around town with murky motives and ties to Christian extremists.
The novel follows the adventures of Deputy Director Caulfield of WSB in British security. He is assigned to the Chinese delegation to discover the depths of their ties with Christian terrorists. The delegation is travelling with Reverand Umh, a Christian minister who was an active protester when Hong Kong was repatriated. Caulfield knew him during this time period. During the course of the delegation’s visit, three of them are killed. The unit is forced to fight a man power shortage to find out what is going on.
What is going on? That is the perennial question as the novel jumps all over the place, telling you about this event or that. The novel reads as a series of loosely connected vignettes. The author’s style of telling instead of showing is confusing as he tends to lead up to action scenes and then, skip over them to relay them later in retrospect or often, not at all. Reading Reverend Dumb often feels like reading half a novel as you keep waiting for the part that explains what’s going on and links the disparate scenes together and it never comes.
What is there is fast paced and interesting, but leaves the reader deeply confused about what story the author is trying to tell, what is happening to his characters, and why we should care. This may be the author’s intent, to showcase the confusion often felt by laymen around security personnel and politicians, yet he needs to tone it down a bit so that the reader can still follow the plot. This has the seeds of a great suspense novel, but as it now stands it is a quick dive into inanity.
Elizabeth Ramsay is an editor and education writer.