The Drowned Rat
Barry’s company has just been bought by a bigger company and is offered a new position. So he has to move from Kansas City, Missouri — reluctantly — to Cleveland, Ohio, to make a new start. He consoles himself that having a job elsewhere is better than being jobless back home. But he couldn’t be so wrong, for he quickly finds himself plunged into the criminal underworld of Ohio.
Things escalate quickly for him when he discovers strange messages and a drowned rat at his doorstep. For a systems engineer, he knows this could mean trouble. So he enlists the help of his best friend, FBI agent, Val. The drown rat is just the beginning of the horrible things about to happen to a man with very little or no experience in the crime world, but Barry has to use his intelligence to stay one step ahead of his stalker, but for how long?
For a debut novel, Brian L Gardner’s The Drowned Rat scores great success at multiple levels. First off, the writing is great, fluid and confident, and the narrative voice comes out clearly, seasoned with a great dose of humor. The opening is great, and it introduces the reader to the crisis in the life of the protagonist. I enjoyed how the tension builds up. At first, the reader is confronted with a man who is forced to deal with a career change and relocation, but then suddenly, he is caught up in a world of crime and corruption and has to fight to stay alive.
It is interesting to notice how he struggles to understand this new world and why someone would be after him. The author shows great skills in character development and the plot is cunningly done to have the reader hooked throughout the enticing read. Great pacing, action-packed, and pulsating, The Drowned Rat/is deft and balanced, a work of great entertainment.
Brian L Gardner