I've never heard about the author before picking up this book, but the blurb got my attention, and I decided to give it a try. Founding out that Joel Gomez-Dossi is a freelance writer who came to journalism by way of theatre, television, and digital media production, helps me better to understand his writing style: a quick pace and dynamic of the plot, fast scene changes with short chapters, the choice of the topic, but maybe also a sterile clearness of his writing that is a good attribute for writing an article, but maybe not always suitable for writing books. But somehow here, for this kind of plot it was okay, and this emotional indifference toward the MCs didn't bother me too much.
Even if a married couple stays in the main focus of this book, it is not actually about them, but about corruption on the high level, how international crime organizations move their operation through the globe, protected by political power and dirty money. To achieve their aims, these organizations do stop at nothing, and at that take the death of human beings and possible ecological catastrophes for granted.
It is a sad coinsidence that while I was reading this book, a terrible accident happened in the port of Tianjin, northern China, that killed more than a hundred people and devastated large areas of the city. It is also a pretty depressing truth that China has perfected itself in controlling of political attitudes of its citizens completely fails to excersise the strict control when working with chemical materials and pollution of the environment. So, the topic that Joel Gomes-Dossi has chosen for his book is very up-to-date.
There are some interesting facts that I learned from this book. Have you known, for example, that
** China leads in the production of Rare Earth Elements? (They are a collection of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table, that are necessary for smart-phones, colour screens, electric-powered cars and many other devices of our time, actually it is impossible to imagine a modern technology without them
** And that in principle these Rare Elements are not that rare what one might suppose from their name. But Rare Earth Elements aren't like gold or silver, which can be removed from the ground without a lot of effort. Rare earths have to be extracted from the minerals they're embedded in by washing them with acids.
It is why REEs are very costly to mine and process.
** According to Bredsher
, China is able to extract these REEs economically by ignoring ecological safeguards. Back to the book:
Tom and his husband Roman have been married since almost a decade, and in spite of their love to each other, they live through a difficult phase in their relationship at the moment. When Tom, a freelance geologist, who has been working for the last few months for the Occidental Corporation hasn't come back from the Adirondack Mountains, Roman reports him as missing, but the police doesn't takes it too seriously. After all, Tom disappeared already for some days after in the past, without informing his husband, but Roman feels that this time it is a different situation. Unfortunately he doesn't know a lot about Tom's current job, they haven't been recently talked too much to each other. It is why Roman decides to go to the Adirondack Mountains to find Tom himself, aimed with all possible poor information he could get about Tom's last contract. Luckily he won't do it by his own - in Starlight he gets help from Deputy Gus Webber, who has been assigned to this case, and his family - Webber's son, a skilled computer freak will prove himself as very useful! What follows next is an action packed thriller, with changing scenes all over the globe, Tom's struggle for survival in the wilderness, hit-men(yes, there are two of them her) and a lot of more.
As I've already mentioned, it is not a romance book. Even if I myself wasn't emotionally very connected to the main characters, I could still enjoyed the story. It was more like a journalistic investigation with a little personal touch.
It was interesting enough to keep me busy with the plot and I learned some interesting facts about REEs. Even if it is a work of fiction, it based on the well known facts.
**Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**