3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Do Thrillers Come Any Better Than This?,
This review is from: Do They Know I'm Running?: A Novel (William Monk) (Paperback)
Wow. If there is a better thriller out there, someone please let me know. Like "No Country for Old Men" (which I love) but with better characters, sharper writing, and a more convincing and compelling plot. This is the "other side," what gets lost in the immigration debate; it's the story of real people, broken but somehow still hopeful, lost in the shadows chasing that impossible American Dream. Corbett doesn't sugarcoat, doesn't placate, and isn't interested in playing by "commercial" rules. His characters are both ugly and beautiful, capable of extreme selfishness and sacrifice, almost in the same breath. In short, they are real. The book tackles immigration, terrorism, and patriotism, and somehow does so in an understated way. It's the story of a couple Mexican cousins, Happy and Godo, who've fought in a hypocritical war only to return banged up and unwanted, and who put their new "skills" to use to fix their fractured family, sending the darling baby of the family, Roque, across the border to fetch his uncle who's been deported. How tough could it be? Pretty d*mn tough. No one, nothing are what they seem. From the double dealing US government to the unspeakable inhumanities of the drug lords and cartels on the human smuggling pipeline, "Running" plays out like a frantic game of hide and seek, taking the reader down Mexico's dusty roads and into the cracks of an America many will never see. With an ending that is spot-on perfect. As flawless as it gets. And Corbett even manages to squeeze in a love story that cuts and lingers long after the book is put down. And what makes "Running" such a rare treat is the writing itself, which too often in mysteries is relegated to an afterthought. Here, the prose reads poetic and poignant; it's lyrical and rhythmic, stark and illumining, with lines that will break your heart. If this novel doesn't win major awards or isn't optioned into a Blockbuster, I lose what little faith I have left in the arts. "Do They Know I'm Running?" is the real deal, the best book you will read all year.