Friday, June 19, 2015

Near Death by Glenn Cooper

Release Date: November 15, 2014
Publisher: Lascaux Media
Author Website: 

Rating: 3 out 5 stars.

FBI Special Agent Cyrus O'Malley must balance an unexpected serial killing case, a new, lethal drug released on the streets of the world, and spending time with his ailing daughter. With such heavy weight on his shoulders, he poured everything he had into his work and set his sights on the top suspects. What he didn't expect was the grain of truth in the rumors on the street.

With a new drug spreading across the globe, people were given a glimpse of what prophets and theologians speculated for centuries. The comedown of the drug left many despondent and disillusioned, pushing some to the extreme. When a messiah appeared promising deliverance to the masses at the end of a thirty day countdown, Cyrus must move quickly to uncover the truths or pay the highest cost.

This novel was the third in a list of books by the author recommended for me to explore by NetGalley. Each of the previous book featured their own adventures and characters which explored different parts of the world and the cultures therein. The only thing linking these three books together was their exploration of the spiritual, religion and a person's belief in each. Whereas the other books were explorations of the past's influence upon the present, this title took what the future may hold and used it upon today's modern life.

Right away the cast of characters revealed themselves and what roles they'd play in the overall story. Cyrus O'Malley wasn't the only character that was under a spotlight in the story, but I try to keep these reviews spoiler-free. The other one you'll have to find out for yourself. While the progression of the story focused on two key characters, there were several who shaped the story and gave it a sense of completion. Not only did the characters come from different areas of belief and religion, they came from all walks of life. Whether intellectual or uneducated, white-collar or blue-collar, they all seemed to have a part to play in the events of the book.

The action in the book took a little while to get rolling. There was a lot of little pieces to explore in the foundation of the story. Once everything was in place, a natural momentum appeared. The author took advantage of the rhythm, utilizing the pacing to unfold different aspects of the story at the optimal time. Much of the book revolved the scientific and medical communities, so there was a lot of terminology that if unexplained well could leave the average reader out in the cold. However, the author used the characters to explain the difficult concepts in an educational and uplifting way that left me (the reader) wanting to know more. He did the same with the theological arguments presented in the book, utilizing both sides of the issues in order to reach some sort of consensus that impacted the characters' decision making.

While I found the book very entertaining to the last page, some of the plot and events were predictable. Some of the twists were easy to guess chapters before they occurred, but I was pleasantly surprised by the thought-provoking aspect of this novel. The subject matter and actions of a few select characters opened doors to questions that everyday type of people might not consider in their usual routines. If given the opportunity, would we really want to experience what may be waiting on the other side of death before our time in this life is through? What would we pay or sacrifice in order to have that experience if we said yes? How would this type of drug impact our theologies, beliefs and connections with people in general? All of these were very intriguing questions that lingered in my head long after finishing the novel. If you love the thrill of the chase in a suspenseful book or enjoy speculating what may happen should a number of events take place in a particular sequence, this is a book you definitely need on your TBR list.

Near Death by Glenn Cooper is currently available at various online retailers. It can be purchased in paperback, audio-book or digital (Kindle) versions. Visit the book's Amazon page by clicking the link provided below.
Near Death by Glenn Cooper

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