Book Review: Power Play

Posted On: January 24, 2009
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Power Play by Joseph FinderPower Play by Joseph Finder is a straightforward novel – Five terrorists; Thirteen hostages; One reluctant hero called Jake Landry. As a junior executive in a mulit-billion-dollar company, Hammond Aerospace, Landry was called in as a replacement for his boss for a weekend of top executive team-building at a remote lodge. The story took an exciting turn when five men entered the scene, holding them hostages, for an initial amount of $100 million dollars. However, when it became apparent that the men knew a little too much about the company to be hunters who just stumbled upon them, it became a dire situation of survival at all costs.

The story brings to mind the blockbuster movie “Die Hard” starring Bruce Willis. The hero seems to be portrayed as a representation of  blue-collar worker, completely out of his league amongst the bickering high-and-mighty elitists. The difference here is that Bruce Willis’s character, Officer John McClane, was a seasoned police officer, whereas Jake Landry was once admitted into Glenview juvenile detention centre, with a juvie record. Which was where he picked up all his survival instincts. The many flashbacks to his time spent in the detention centre served as interesting windows into his background and mental finesse.

Joseph Finder throws in little titbits from everyday life that we are familiar with, which adds a little to the realism of the situation, I suppose. One of those paragraphs which brought a smile to my face was,

Dogs are underrated as girlfriend-substitutes, I think. Gerty never complained when I came home late from work; if anything, she was even happier to see me. She didn’t mind eating the same thing day after day. She never insisted on watching Desperate Housewives when I wanted to watch football, and she never asked me if I thought she looked fat.

In the aspect of language style, the author will use words like “watchamacallit” – a shorter version of “what you may call it”. I was a little surprised as this is the first time that I actually see this word used in a book. Perhaps it is the coming-of-age of modern writers who harness the new generation with new slang and words invented by our generation. Some may like the style, some may not.

This book is fast-paced, like many James Patterson books that have reviewed (such as Kiss the Girls). It is a very easy read, even more so than Patterson. The little twists at the end, as closing to the story, were satisfying. A good read for me.