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Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Love Thy Neighbor by Mark Gilleo

Title: Love Thy Neighbor
Author: Mark Gilleo
Series: ---
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: March 27, 2012

How Received: For Review
Rate: 4

Summary (as quoted from Amazon): Clark Hayden is a graduate student trying to help his mother navigate through the loss of his father while she continues to live in their house near Washington DC. With his mother's diminishing mental capacity becoming the norm, Clark expects a certain amount of craziness as he heads home for the holidays. What he couldn't possibly anticipate, though, is that he would find himself catapulted into the middle of the terrorist operation. As the holiday festivities reach a crescendo, a terrorist cell - which happens to be across the street - is activated. Suddenly Clark is discovering things he never knew about deadly chemicals, secret government operations, suspiciously missing neighbors, and the intentions of a gorgeous IRS auditor. Clark's quiet suburban neighborhood is about to become one of the most deadly places on the planet, and it's up to Clark to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in the nation's capital. Fast, acerbic, wise and endlessly exciting, Love Thy Neighbor marks the unforgettable debut of a startling new voice in suspense fiction.

My thoughts:
Love Thy Neighbor was a good read.

The story is told through multiple perspectives, but mainly follows twenty-six year old Clark and his neighbor Ariana. Clark has just returned from a robotics competition in Japan, back to his mother and his hometown situated in Washington D.C. His mother, who has Alzheimer’s, is in need of constant care, and Ariana has been looking over her while Clark was away. Helpful and kind, the neighbors on Clark’s street are always there for each other, and Ariana’s act of kindness is as typical as the sun rising in the morning.

But even though Ariana acts sweet on the outside, she is actually a deadly assassin. The first time we see her dark side is when she viciously murders her abusive husband. She talks constantly to herself about some sort of secret plan - the only thing we know about it is that it will kill a lot of people- a plan that will set off events similar to 9/11.

When three people who are a part of the mission in which Ariana has been planning for accidentally knock on Clark’s mom‘s, door, they set off an investigation that could possibly lead to their downfall. For as soon as she sees the men, she calls the CIA, reporting strange people in the neighborhood that could possibly be terrorists. At the time of these events, Ariana and her crew have fled, leaving Clark puzzled and perplexed, for Ariana never leaves her house unattended.

Unfortunately, possible terrorists aren’t the only thing bothering Clark’s mom ; apparently, his recently deceased father hadn’t been filing his tax reductions on time, and now the IRS is looking into the case. When Clark ends up falling for the beautiful IRS detective who is investigating his parents, he gains access to IRS files that will allow him to do a little investigating of his own, this time on the neighbors he once thought he knew.

Because even though he knows that his mother isn’t always in her right mind, he can’t help but wonder:
What if she is really right and there were terrorists at the door? And what if Ariana was involved?
Clark, on a mission to save his mother’s sanity as well as his. Ariana, on a mission to become the ultimate martyr. Who will come out on top?

I really enjoyed the suspense and tension in this novel. There was a lot of action, murder, sacrifice, faith, and most of all, love. The sense of what is right and what is wrong becomes increasingly blurred as both Ariana and Clark are doing what they believe is right, and both of them believe that the other is wrong. Ariana is sacrificing her life and the lives of others for Faith, and Clark is risking his life to save his mother, his lover, and all the innocent people who don’t have to die. I love how easily I was able to follow most of the story line ; Gilleo’s writing style is very fluid and easy to grasp. The only thing I wasn’t too big on was all the details. Sometimes it made it difficult for me to follow a certain thought or paragraph. Other than that, though, I really enjoyed the book!

If you are searching for a new, suspenseful, thrilling novel, then you should definitely check out Love Thy Neighbor.

1 comment:

CMash said...

Great review!! Well done. Thank you.

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