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Whack Job by Mike Baron
Review by Drew Bittner
Mike Baron Kindle Edition  ISBN/ITEM#: B009YLS9ZO
Date: 28 October 2012 List Price $4.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Author Interview / Show Official Info /

Otto White survived a mission gone wrong in Libya, only to be thrown into an even stranger and more dangerous situation: politicians are spontaneously combusting...and the President could be next. What is a "lucky" but disowned spook to do?

In Whack Job, Mike Baron mixes thrillers, political satire and weird adventure to produce a fast-paced, engaging tale of assassination and international high-stakes gamesmanship. As Otto (codename Aardvark) digs into this problem, he finds things are nothing like he expects. He's thrown into a world he doesn't recognize or understand, making contact with conspiracy buffs, gamer geeks and computer hackers, all in an effort to dig beneath the surface of this unfolding scheme.

It's tricky to really synopsize the novel without giving away key plot points, as there are several that make the story twist and turn. Suffice it to say that the deeper Otto goes, the stranger things become...and the deaths of a few politicians is not the most outre thing about this mystery.

Baron has crafted a gem of a story, with a scope that spans from the dusty wastelands of Libya to the White House (and nearby Alexandria, VA) to a loner's shack out in the woods. There are surprise returns and reversals along the way, with a big twist arriving as events race toward their conclusion.

Fans of hard-edged meets tongue in cheek will really enjoy this story, which you can find on Kindle or via the author's own website. I look forward to seeing more tales from this writer (who, if you didn't know, is considered a "founding father" of independent comics, having co-created Nexus and The Badger). You can find SFRevu's recent interview with Mike Baron.

Recommended.

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