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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Restless Earth by John Dolan brings together four men who, it seems, have little or nothing in common, but somehow they are all inextricably linked. An embittered, sick old man, Jedediah Reichenbach is just looking for revenge against his nemesis, the amoral and evil businessman James Fosse, whom Reichenbach, a former police officer, knows to be a murderer. Reichenbach hires out-of-work, ex-Iraqi veteran, Private First-Class Samuel Trask to travel to Thailand and discover what Fosse is up to. Reichenbach is only sure of one thing - whatever Fosse is up to is just a front for the man's evil machinations. Trask was invalided from Iraq with a severe leg injury. Although the physical wounds have healed, he is haunted by what he witnessed in Iraq and the murder of a young Iraqi girl. He seeks redemption. Fosse is a master manipulator who loves nothing better than to cause mayhem and havoc in people's lives, to no apparent end apart from his own twisted, personal satisfaction. Throw into the mix an English private detective based in Thailand, who is still trying to find his real purpose in life, and you have a rollicking tale of murder, mystery and mayhem, with inexplicable linkages everywhere.
Here we find four disparate characters, all seeking different things, who are brought together in this wonderful story, Restless Earth by author John Dolan. I loved the exotic location of Thailand and enjoyed the author's attempt to show us a side of Thai life and culture outside some of the popular Western misconceptions, not to say those were ignored either. All four characters were well drawn by Dolan and of special interest was the pleasure-seeking narcissist, James Fosse. Nothing it seemed was too devious or too outlandish, in his mind, to try out in order to create a mess in other people's lives. There didn't need to be a purpose to his actions other than the twisted, sadistic pleasure he would gain from inflicting suffering on someone else.
A really strong character that drew me in as a reader, Sam Trask was also a complex and needy individual that had you feeling deep sympathy for the man at times, and equally feeling like screaming at the character to not be such an idiot. The quintessential English detective, who had left good old England to find himself after the death of his young wife, was perfect in many of its characterisations, in my opinion. The relevance and importance of Karma in our lives was shown brilliantly through the events of this tale. This is a wonderful adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and quickly turning pages to see what comes next. Great story from Dolan.