Caravan of Thieves

Is it a screenplay masquerading as a book, or a book masquerading as a screenplay?

David Rich may be a debut author, but he’s no novice. His work prior to this book was heavy on the screenplay—and I’m not sure that was knowledge that helped or hurt the cause as I read.

Lest you think I’m about to insult, I’m not—the book is a good read. I may not put it in the same category as a Clancy or Baldacci, but for the CIA-style thriller, it was enjoyable. The story’s main character, Rollie Waters, is drawn into a three-way war over money that was stolen in in Iraq and Afghanistan and shipped back overseas. It’s when Rollie realizes his father is involved that the story really takes off.

Here’s the rub for me—with the number of times Rollie has the shit kicked out of him, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact he was even alive. Seriously—the guy is taking a fist to the face, the butt of a gun to the back of the head, roundhouse kicks to the gut … on what feels like every third page of the book. And he just.keeps.going. People are dropping like flies, but not him. He’s superhuman, which makes it not so believable. And that screenplay thing—if you are a reader who loves to picture the movie version in your head, you will love this book. I didn’t mind it so much except that scenes seemed to jump very quickly one from one to another, as if there was just a “fade to black” note missing on the page. Dialogue, too, could be a tad hard to follow — easy enough if you’re watching the character saying it, but not so much when you’re reading it instead.

It’s fairly violent, but no more than a “Bourne” movie, so I tossed my copy to my teen son, who may like it. Here’s my “Olive Garden review” comment, and then I’ll leave it … As much as I love Clancy and Baldacci, the tiny type on the pages of the paperbacks can drive me nuts. I went hardcopy here, and it was way easier on the eyes. I’m just sayin’…. if you’re in the mood for a thriller, this is a good option for a quick weekend read.

Caravan of Thieves
David Rich

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