Mark Twain wrote: Switzerland is simply a large humpy, solid rock, with a thin skin stretched over it.
Average Rating: 2.0
Stan Mullens is an American mercenary in the Congo who sees himself as a good guy with a bad job. Stan's self-assigned mission to protect his long time brother-in-arms, Frank, takes a serious hit when their boss sends them on an unsupported mission into the jungle to track and kill Tonde Chiora, a former company employee accused of stealing vital company mining technology. As their mission takes them deep into the violent heart of the Congo, Stan soon discovers that his victim hasn't done anything to warrant being murdered. And as he struggles to survive the jungle, his enemies, and Frank's random acts of violent stupidity, he finds himself increasingly drawn in by the innocence and optimism of the man he is supposed to kill. With his enemies closing in and his friendship with Frank falling apart, Stan has to make a dangerous choice between his old loyalties and his new friends. Maybe hardest of all, he has to make peace with the realization that despite what he's told himself all these years, he is not one of the good guys
This is some great writing. Descriptions of the Congo are vivid and the main characters are fully developed. Unfortunately, there's not a likable character to be found in this story. Frank and Stan are particularly unlikable -- not good, given this is very much a character-driven story. Remorseless violence defines these characters.
Tom Fria has a good voice for this novel. However, he does not give distinctive voices to the characters, making many passages quite confusing.
Worst of all, the production is atrocious. Words are truncated or missing altogether. Some phrases are duplicated, obviously edits that weren't removed. There are some mispronunciations and inappropriately long pauses. There's no way any quality assurance was applied to this production.
NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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