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Hillhouse (Rift Zone) focuses on the larger-than-life exploits of Camille Black, the head of a major firm that supplies skilled personnel to the U.S. effort in Iraq, in a thriller best read as a cautionary tale about the dangers of national security privatization. When the C.I.A. asks Camille to find her ex-fiancé, Hunter Smith, a possible double-agent who may be selling arms to terrorists, the former lovers find themselves the pawns of shadowy forces working for competing factions of the U.S. government. A clichéd denouement caps an endless series of fights, escapes and torture scenes, but a sobering afterword ("The Facts Behind the Fiction") shows the author has done her homework. Unfortunately, the stock plot, with its unlikely scenario for the fate of Osama Bin Laden, fails to do justice to the real-life issues the novel raises.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
War has changed a lot in the past few decades. Now, like any major corporation, the U.S. outsources its military operations to private companies like Black Management, operated by the enigmatic Camille Black. When Camille is hired by the CIA to rub out an arms dealer who is selling weapons to terrorists, she is not bothered, at first, by the fact that her prey is her former (and supposedly dead) fiancé. But as her mission progresses, she has to decide which emotion will fuel her actions: love for the man or hatred for what he stands for. The novel presents a realistic picture of modern-day warfare-for-hire (or at least it seems to), but the author's handling of the human side of the story is less adroit. He has the high-tech stuff down pat, but when it comes to motivation, emotional conflict, and natural-sounding dialogue, he is less sure of himself. Too bad, too: with stronger characters and a deeper exploration of Camille's inner turmoil, this could have been a first-rate thriller. Still, undemanding fans of high-tech military adventure (by Dale Brown, for example) should be satisfied. Pitt, David
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Fast, enjoyable read with a total kick ass female protagonist. A dumb & unconvincing love story is the only thing that gets in the way of a ton of insane action. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Stephen H Gray
It's a pleasure to find an authoress that knows her subject beyond research and maintains a good flow. Confident writing.Published 1 month ago by JD Schaefer
I found the book a little tedious. The author wrote it for a specific purpose - to expose the role of private military contractors in the Middle East. Read morePublished 2 months ago by KO6JW
That was the appropriate rating. It met my expectations and then some!!! I would answer the other questions, but it seems I cannot go back to that page.Published on April 28, 2013 by Lawlor
Extremely realistic, brutal and disgusting as you learn how awful the private militery companies were during the Iraq war and after. It clearly shows how evil Bush and Cheney were. Read morePublished on March 29, 2013 by Boomer49
If you're not in the spy/military business, I guess it would be hard to deem whether this book is 'right on the money' or not. Read morePublished on October 3, 2011 by comprosweden
Very enjoyable read. A note worthy good thing about it was the fact it was the author was a woman and the protagonist was to (I hate it when authors write trans-gender, never works... Read morePublished on June 26, 2009 by R. Robinson
Hillhouse knows her subject well. The novel is typically formulaic but offers twists and turns that keep the reader engaged and titillated. Read morePublished on February 5, 2009 by William
I had no idea that war was so complicated. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who happens to be in the military, when you're considering that this review is written by a... Read morePublished on September 28, 2008 by Chris Van Deelen