I have a short list of books that I love and always keep a copy of. It includes The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, Drood and The Black Hills, both written by Dan Simmons, and The Lord of the Rings. These books are characterized by great story-telling abilities by the author. They are not the kind of books (that shall remain nameless, the worst written by an author also with the first name of Dan) that have a cliff hanger at the end of a two page chapter. They are the sort that weave a story so cleverly and rich with story that it takes the reader into another world that is not soon forgotten, long after the characters names can’t be recalled. The Watchers by Jon Steele is now on my list.
I loved this book from the first beautifully written and haunting chapter to the last heart-pounding one. Its exotic locale (Lausanne, Switzerland), its clever plot twists and turns and the revelation about two-thirds of the way in of what exactly is going on. Though it’s a relatively large book at more than 570 pages, I devoured it in just a few days.
I was besotted with Jay Harper, one of the main characters. I think it was his sense of humor (that gets me every time) and his sure-fire way of seeing through to the heart of any matter. His relentless pursuit of the bad guys didn’t hurt either. Another main character, Marc Rochat, tugged at my heart and I cheered for him the whole book through. This book isn’t for the faint-at-heart, however. There are a few scenes that are difficult to read so if you don’t like to read anything violent, I suggest you skim those few short paragraphs and keep reading – it’s worth it!
It was a happy surprise to discover that The Watchers is just the first book in a new trilogy. It’s definitely a must-read for the literary thriller crowd and just about anyone who enjoys great writing and a fabulous story. For more on The Watchers you can see the author speak about his book here.