By James Grenton
Deep in the jungles of Colombia, a brutal and fast-growing drugs cartel has genetically-modified cocaine to make it ten times more powerful and addictive than any other drug. They call it: BLACK COKE Nathan Kershner is an agent with the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency and a former special forces operative. Often working undercover, he has single-handedly brought down some of the most wanted criminals in the world. But when he clashes with the drugs cartel and tries to stem the flow of Black Coke into Europe and the US, he finds himself up against his most difficult assignment yet.
On a mission that takes him from the crack houses of North London to the underground drug labs of southern Colombia, Nathan enters the darkest regions of the war on drugs, where treachery, greed and violence reign. With the drugs cartel growing in power by the day, Nathan has to decide just how far he is prepared to go to avert disaster.
I stay impressed with the book the moment I started to glance at the novel. The paragraphs were justified, the chapters were formatted properly, and the page numbers were quite clear to see. Though many authors have attempted to do likewise, keep in mind that a reader such as I would take the author seriously. What pulled my interest and ultimately sealed the deal from start to finish were the subplots and the solidification of the characters. To some degree, this was a book that I could not put down, there was an urge for me to go back and read the book finish, just like the real deal authors from the traditional publishing company. Some writing and traveling background from the author has made this book quite reflective in his novel.
Sometimes I wish I could be Grenton’s publicist, but I already have a commitment to blogging on the internet. The conversations between Nathan and his friends are short, sweet, and two the point: the book creates a type of thriller effect which the reader will think he is part of some action movie. This is something I would love to see on the big screen because the characters are absolutely unforgettable, especially with the integration of a good pace and a reasonable plotline. Truly, the elements of this book are something I would consider remarkable.
The Really Good:
The fact that there was a believable villain (Ammonite) in the entire novel, torturing Nathan with a series of assassinations and murders of those close to him are enough to get me hooked to see how bad I would prefer to have her dead. Personally, I wanted Ammonite to be killed through a grotesque and brutal slaying e.g. beating, raping, burning her and then use an instrument that will bring a slow but tremendously painful death (I wished Nathan had some martial arts skills to do a ‘Kiss of the Dragon’ kind of ending). I was captivated by the novel’s process of writing. There were plenty of elements of ambiguity within the characters and desires to give up on the drug trade. The repetition to legalize drugs was one of the major themes of the book that were raised, but averted from a full blown discussion. Though Grenton suggests this as a viable option, he shows the readers that the drug trade is not all about the drugs; it’s the people who run the trade. I know he has another book out there called the ‘Somali Doctrine’ let me tell you something, it’s one of the next books I plan on reading and reviewing (hopefully) by the end of this year. I want to see this author actually make it big.
Though I am no wise trying to diminish the book’s work, I want to point out a couple of minute changes that can be taken into consideration at the author’s discretion. First, the prolonged justices in the end with people like Rev. Elijah and Ammonite should have ended sooner, not some 500+ pages later. There were some points where I wanted to skip a few pages because I was beginning to think the book was not getting anywhere beyond the characters were constantly on a chase. The need to make the endings tremendously short along with the dialogue can sometimes is troublesome because they can create an effect opposite of what the author was intending. Apart from what I said in the above paragraph, I cannot really find any personal ‘tweaks’ that were needed.
Parker’s Final Grade: