Friday, October 19, 2012

Cooper's Promise by Timothy Jay Smith

From Amazon - Army sharpshooter and deserter Cooper Chance is trapped. Recruited from Iraq to fight in an African country ravaged by a chronic civil war, Cooper wants nothing more than to go home. Unfortunately, the only thing awaiting him in America is jail, and Cooper is acutely claustrophobic. Whether he likes it or not, he now leads the life of a mercenary, in a gritty world filled with thugs, prostitutes, and corrupt cops. To survive his desperate circumstances, Cooper trades diamonds. One day he wanders into a diamond shop, where he meets Sadiq, a young merchant as lost in the world as he is. As they fall in love, Cooper has no idea Sadiq has ulterior motives. Meanwhile huge oil reserves are discovered nearby, and the CIA offers Cooper a way home without jail time if he agrees to carry out a risky, high-stakes mission. Cooper will do anything to get home-except sell his soul to the devil. But when a teenage prostitute he has promised to save suddenly disappears, Cooper finally relents. Unfortunately, he has no idea that unexpected consequences await.

OK, Now that you've read the description, you don't have to read the book.  That's the story in a nutshell. Sadly, for me, this was a haze book.  The story was covered in that shrouded mist where it's nearly raining but not quite and you can see the story, but not quite.  Imagine watching a really cool old black and white movie with CIA people and militants milling around a dirty city, and then the TV gets all snowy and you can still watch it, but there's kind of no point.  

The characters are alright, but not amazing.  A bit more development would have been great where they're concerned.  The romance portion of the book seems to be where most of the focus takes place.  We find pages and pages of longing and then a few paragraphs of actual conflict between the warring parties going on.  

If you're really into the whole aspect of a rogue ex-military man who's surviving by selling contraband diamonds and has a thing for young men, you might really enjoy this.  Personally, I think this is a small niche market and I wasn't overly impressed.  The one saving grace of the book is that it's actually written and edited superbly.  If I could get into the right mindset, it might be more readable.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Shawn

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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