There are a lot of things to like
ensemble-cast thriller from author Glenn Muller. The opening
scene, for one - the middle of a doomed rocket launch in the
Soviet Union - is gripping, and there’s a real sense of urgency
with the action.
gripping opening scene, Muller takes a while to set up the
scenario, introducing a multitude of characters, some who never
make another appearance. The ones who do stick
around—and there are a lot of them—are interesting and
well-rounded. That’s not usually the case with thrillers,
especially ones with so many moving parts.
the rare thriller in which you find yourself rooting for all the
characters to win - even though they’re all competing with each
other. Even the gruff Chinese secret agent who is set up as the
book’s antagonist has a compelling point of view at times.
Muller has a gift for making the characters come alive on the
characters come into focus, and their goal becomes clearer, the
action hums forward nicely. That goal? To find a fallen Chinese
satellite in a mostly-rural Canadian town before the other
people do - the technology onboard the satellite may have
critical implications for the security of North America.
But BOOMERANG can’t
decide if it wants to play it seriously or tongue-in-cheek. As
the novel progresses the tone shifts from the former to the
latter, but the change is subtle and the story is never boring.
Muller has great
command of the language. It’s clear he has put hours and hours
of research into satellite functionality and challenges, as well
as the geographic challenges of his setting. This type of
research can result in pedantic passages but not here. Muller
writes tense, vivid action sequences with none of the "Basil
Exposition" cringe-worthy conversations that are often rife in
line? BOOMERANG is
an enjoyable, satisfying novel. Great characterization got me
through the slow setup phase. All in all, a worthwhile read.
—Paul Austin Ardoin
A Caseful of Clues