Top positive review
Mature, Dramatic Themes Save Novel From Being Formulaic
on December 14, 2015
I just discovered Alex Berenson. He writes in the same rich vein as Nelson DeMille and Daniel Silva, along with others.
I hesitate to classify any of these men as thriller writers, although each one definitely uses the elements of that genre, because Berenson and the others infuse their stories with mature dramatic themes that raise their novel above the formulaic. For example, in the Berenson book I’m now reading, a subplot has John Wells challenged by his girlfriend to sacrifice his work with the CIA for the sake of their relationship. The struggle Wells faces adds depth to his character: he loves his girlfriend and he loves his job. In a straight thriller, that type of character development is rare.
Berenson also has a great prose style. Clean, simple, yet elegant in its structure. It’s easier said than done. But it makes for a pleasant reading experience.
Plus, the novel doesn’t offer a simplistic ‘black and white’ world like way too many thrillers. Berenson’s world is complex, like his characters.
These are also the hallmarks that make DeMille and Silva such good reads.
Now that I’ve discovered Berenson, I plan to read more of his stuff.