Title: An Unlawful Act in Libya by John M.W. Smith
Genre: novella, action, thriller, suspense, crime, war
Amazon Reviews: Fifteen and all of them five stars – Wow!
My Five Star Review:
Gripping read from the first word to the last
Author J.W. Smith is a master of the novella. His main character is cleverly developed, the plot is contained to the form with absolute control, the act one, two, three story structure is perfectly preserved in an easy two hour read. These accomplishments are no easy feat as anyone who has attempted a novella will readily admit.
Central character Gamal Ibrahim, an Egyptian book seller working for a British firm, embarks on a sales trip to Libya. There, a series of events turn the trip from ill-advised to life threatening. With concision of writing that is admirable, the author builds dread from the moment Gamal steps off the plane in Libya. The reader is not surprised at what happens but surprise is not the point. Knowing where the story is headed makes it all the more gripping.
This is a novella truly deserving of a five-star rating. Bravo!
Here’s some information about author John M.W. Smith – lifted from his Amazon page:
John was drawn to writing at an early age. At one time in his teenage years he was reading one book a day—the subject didn’t matter, but it needed to grab his interest in the first couple of pages, or he would abandon it. This is the rule he has since applied to all his writing, believing that if you haven’t grabbed the reader straight away, you are not writing well enough.. After graduating with a degree in History he spent many years in academic publishing, at last leaving to pursue his long-held dream of becoming a writer. “Easily among the very best new writers we have seen”, “fresh and original”, “creates life-like characters—maybe too life-like” (whatever that means!), are some of the comments made by literary reviewers and consultants about his work.
So, there you have it folks. Another Tuesday Book Blog author to check out.
Having read the novella, I have to say you are dead right, This is a solid piece of writing and a great read. Highly recommended.
Thanks, Kerry, for adding your endorsement.