The Blade Itself - Marcus Sakey
I should probably shelve this, but it left me a little underwhelmed after many of the thriller books I've read and placing it into the category seems like putting a Chihuahua under the Dog category even though it resembles a rodent more in size. It was a bit of an underwhelming read for me, but that didn't make it an altogether bad book. The characters are solid, and the threats within the storyline are quite real. If anything, this is a realistic look at how people might have to deal with a blackmail situation against themselves and their loved ones today. It's not the happiest of books, and it's not super-espionage thriller either, but it's a solid book overall.

I have my issues with the decisions the main character made in this book, and that was the little hang-up I had for the most part, but it's nice to see that towards the closing chapters of the story, it picked up in a direction that I'd been wanting it to go for a long time. There were some tragic losses, and a good amount of tangible danger points throughout the story that could not be ignored, thus adding to their threat to the characters.

While I've been spoiled with the fancy mass-espionage, country-against-country, world-of-double-agents galore, this was a very down-to-earth take on the thriller piece. While it didn't tickle my fancy for the bigger honchos in the thriller and espionage world, it definitely played a steady, defensible part as a book in the thriller genre, taking on the flavor of crime novels as opposed to the espionage I usually like to tread in when I read the main genre.

The characters are intelligent, make realistic decisions, fit their roles believably, and make some sound, very human points by the time everything in the story wraps up. If you want a read that's a little less complex, espionage thriller and prefer an everyday guy dealing with a very believable blackmailing problem in the only way he can-- this book will suit you just fine.

While I've rated it according to my personal taste, it stands on its own well, and will probably receive higher reviews and ratings from others than myself. Definitely give it a go if anything about the book appeals to you. It'll hold its own if you're looking for the particular situation it describes in general.