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The Warsaw Protocol Paperback
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Once you can get past the jerk in the White House diatribe, it’s a decent enough book. It’s no War and Peace or a To Kill a Mockingbird (but then again, that’s not Barry’s caliber...), it’s a typical formulaic book. Bad guy, good guy, evil empire, America, bla bla bla. Apparently Barry thinks we can’t tell the difference when all of his books are the same. What he doesn’t understand is that we buy these books for something to temporarily occupy our minds, not to learn something profound. We all know how it will end. Given this, there’s plenty of fiction fodder for us to read at $15 a pop that doesn’t insult our intelligence. Or our President.
The Warsaw Protocol hits a low with the plot early on. I'm 20% into the novel and there's a weird vibe about the president, who is clearly a Trump stand-in, and it's in a way that is very unbalanced. I had a sense with Daniels that he worked both sides of the aisle and got things done and you could not tell Republican vs. Democrat. Clearly this novel disparages the current Trump administration, repeatedly and with vigor.
For a number of the last novels, I've thought that there was a lot of ghost writing. This is now an even stronger opinion - the writing is weaker and so is the plot. I'll go along for a while more and will update this review.
At this time I intend to end the series. Unfortunate, as they've had a nice run.
This is one of the rare books that I wish I could return for a refund. At least I have the option to never again purchase a book written by Steve Berry. I feel a loss.
In this novel, Cotton is dragged into the search for historical records of Poland's troubled past under the Communists. There is plenty of action and intrigue. Cotton is torn between doing what is "right" and doing what the President of the US wants - a character in Berry's books who has some of the negative characteristics of President Trump, but which Berry amplifies. (Berry comes very close to being added to the growing number of authors that add their current political opinions into their works of fiction.)
I read for the Amazon Vine program pre-publication books, which are "proof copies" which have not gone through the full proofreading process, and I find a number of grammatical errors in those. However, I do not expect to find them in a finished published book like The Warsaw Protocol.
I found three in this book. On page 23 the author writes "The Polish crown jewel had been hid here when the Swedes invaded..." That should read "hidden" not "hid". On page 307 and again on page 356 the author uses the term "did good" when to be grammatically correct he should have used "did well".
In addition to those errors, there is one continuity error - on page 331 Cotton turns off the electric motor to the boat to let it coast forward, and then on page 332 he turns the motor off again, without having restarted it.
OK, I am a bit picky about good grammar and continuity, but to me those errors knocked this down from a five star book to a four star book.
Many people noted and decried his turning it into a political comment on Trump but if you’ve read even a few of the prior works doesn’t it appear to be more like the whole story was actually authored by someone else?
I’d refer you to the new short store Authored by mr. Barry and M J Rose, “Museum Mystery’’ read it and see what you think.
I’ve enjoyed him far to long to give up on him immediately but I’ll stop buying his new books until I read a review that indicates what I’d be buying is Steve Barry’s work... as I used to enjoy it.
G.D. D. III