THE WRECKAGE - Michael Robotham

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The Wreckage
Vincent Ruiz
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Book Synopsis

Billions of dollars are missing from Iraqi banks, and journalist Luca Terracini will risk everything to discover where it is. His Iraqi-American background has made it easier for him to infiltrate the darkest corners of the war, but death of his beloved Nicola in a suicide bombing has made him reckless. He has nothing left to lose.

In pursuit of the money, he meets UN representative Daniela Garner, who seems to know more about the heist than anyone else. She's a valuable asset in Baghdad where the possibility of an explosion lurks at every checkpoint. Luca's investigation proves volatile as well, and as he gets closer to the missing money, his actions begin to reverberate around the world.

In London, Richard North, a top-tier international banker and the one person who might be able to explain where the money has gone, vanishes. The manhunt for him will get Luca evicted from Iraq, separated from Daniela, and possibly end both his investigation and his life.

As usual, it's all about the money: who has it, who's lost it, and who's ultimately going to pay, as clandestine agents emerge from the shadows and powerful nations seek to control information and bury secrets, whatever the cost.

Book Review

I can't tell you how pleased I was to finally get to read THE WRECKAGE. I've been a fan of this series since it's inception, with only one minor disappointment in the last book which headed off into shock tactics a little too overtly for my liking. THE WRECKAGE, however, is a terrific thriller, with a complex and masterfully executed plot and a sense of pace and tension that is nicely balanced with a bit of romance and some family secrets.

It probably doesn't hurt that the action centres around Vincent Ruiz in this book, one of my favourite of Robotham's shifting cast of central characters (in itself a particularly clever idea). The book is made up of a number of different threads, some of which are reportedly based on true events. Using a series of short, sharp chapters, Robotham switches the focus amongst these seemingly unconnected threads. Handled well this idea of chopping and changing the viewpoints and the story threads really provides a strong sense of pace and tension, cutting and weaving the story, moving rapidly through the various events, never giving the reader time to relax. Here it's handled very well.

The other aspect well handled in this type of scenario is whether or not these disparate elements - robberies in Iraq, a missing British banker, and a young female scammer in danger from a shadowy, and very efficient assassin connect. It's less of a surprise these days when they all do, but how they do is extremely important. Here it's done with considerable assurance and believability. The reader is drawn towards the conclusion, rather than fed the details up front, there's enough to guess about, wonder about to really keep you turning pages.

I'm not much of a fan of star ratings, or arbitrary numbers when it comes to books (even though many sites insist that you use them). My private rating system is all to do with whether or not I got much sleep whilst reading this book. Needless to say THE WRECKAGE rated very very highly - it's a book that kept me awake most of the night as it was next-to-impossible to put down.

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