Aiden L. Bailey’s debut novel and first in a series, “The Benevolent Deception”, initially caught my eye when I noticed the creative and modern guerrilla marketing techniques utilized but the author on social media. Based on this positive first impression, I purchased the Kindle edition, expecting something progressive and intelligent, and I was not disappointed.
The opening sequence in a Land Rover driving down a bumpy dirt road in a conflict-ridden Nigeria, puts me right into the action, while introducing the main character – the security worker Simon Ashcroft.
Three stories are intertwined into a thickening plot throughout the book. While the first signs of the big deception come early on, there is a constant suspense as clues emerge one by one.
What I like most about the book is probably its intelligent characters. Personally I can’t stand characters displaying an irrational downright stupid behavior, just to accommodate the plot. Not thinking clearly, may be common and realistic human behavior, especially in extreme situations. But personally, as a reader or movie audience, it frustrates me to see characters, with the obvious solution right in front of them, repeatedly screwing up, because the writer couldn’t come up with a difficult enough situation for them to deal with.
In “The Benevolent Deception” however, the characters are sharp, and good at what they do. I get to follow them on their difficult journey and empathize with them as I try to figure out how I would have gotten myself out of that mess, only to be surprised at how well they handle it. For me personally, that’s how books and movies should be.
Since it’s the first part of a series to be continued, I’m left at the end with the uneasy feeling of not getting closure, as I’m faced with a bit of a cliffhanger. An abrupt ending. Kinda like this…
(Except in the case of the book, the reader wants to get their hands on the sequel. With this review, probably not so much.)