The Boiler Plot Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
If Oliver Stone were twenty-five years younger, instead of shooting Wall Street (1987) on film, he might do as well digitally adapting The Boiler Plot (2012) for Hollywood, or at least Pinewood. Because while the technology of the media agents Stone likes to target may have improved how the times are recorded, the song of human frailty remains the same. Or, as Gordon Gekko might say: "Greed is [virtually] good."
In U.S. author Emily McDaid's debut novel--equally classifiable as thriller/suspense, tech-noir, or social criticism, the setting is modern east-London. The first-person narrative of heroine Alex Sanderson commences in media res, her reportage nearly buried amid the throng of an oppressive courtroom. Crimes have been committed, millions swindled out of hundreds of millions in cyber-cash. Some of the perpetrators have escaped, but others stand at the bar of justice, awaiting sentence. Outside, "the buildings were popping up like a line of dominos." An apt conceit, and nice bit of foreshadowing. This e-book in no way resembles one's average paperback. Alex's voice is one of a young, professional Public Relations account manager, on her way up (a la Bud Fox,) and she knows how to turn a phrase that haunts the later narrative. In fact, a director darker than Stone--Christopher Nolan, perhaps-- could easily frame the story as a noir procedural, with a world-weary voice from the future recounting the inevitable slide of events toward their sordid denouement. The bulk of the story demands, How did it all come to this? And of course, like any novel worth one's patience, The Boiler Plot raises the question to a more universal level. . .
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L/C Ratio: 30/70
(This means I estimate the author devoted 30% of her effort to creating a literary work of art and 70% of her effort to creating a commercial bestseller.)
30% - Suspense thriller
25% - Technology
20% - PR industry
15% - Romance
10% - London
The opening pages of The Boiler Plot reveal exactly where the novel's main characters will end up at the conclusion, yet this prologue is far from a plot spoiler. In fact, having a vague sense of where the story is headed actually creates more suspense and gives the thrills some serious weight.
McDaid's female protagonist, Alex, is a rising star in the London PR world who gets tasked with representing a technology company that is both successful and suspicious. As a literary character, Alex has just the right amount of introspection to keep the reader involved without bogging down the pace of the plot.
Revelations arrive in a flood during the final act of The Boiler Plot, but McDaid does a solid job of weaving in answers through both dialogue and exposition. The novel's PR angle separates it from other tech thrillers and provides for some fascinating moral dilemmas.
It was a thin line, and who was there to judge where that line lay? But within us, somewhere, we knew. We all knew.
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