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by Joseph Finder
St Martin's Minotaur, August 2007
387 pages
ISBN: 0312347480

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Joseph Finder has carved out a niche for himself with business world thrillers such as COMPANY MAN and PARANOIA. He has lived in that world and he is able to provide some verisimilitude to some of his off-the-wall stories, such as his latest book titled POWER PLAY.

Hammond Aerospace has gone through a lot of changes and most of the top-level executives are not too happy about them. Every year the company holds a corporate retreat for upper management partly as a relaxing morale-booster and partly as a way to conduct business free from outside influence. Jake Landry is a last-minute replacement for this get-together and, as a lowly supervisor, he has no idea what he is doing there. He is far out of these people’s league. The weekend goes downhill fast when a group of hunters target the executives and appear to know more about Hammond Aerospace than any passing hunting party ought to. Jake Landry first acts as the voice of reason and then as an action hero when carefully laid plans start to crumble and everyone begins to improvise. Landry may be the only chance to save the company from this “hostile takeover.”

In order to be able to enjoy this book, readers will need to shut off their logic sensors if they want to try to make any sense of what the book is all about. Finder uses short chapters but then he goes heavy on the technospeak, making it hard for anyone not involved in finance or the aerospace industry to follow the story.

When it comes to developing the character of Jake Landry, Finder is inconsistent throughout the book. He uses a technique well known to viewers of ABC's LOST by giving Landry a vivid flashback every few minutes. If you listen carefully you might hear the soft whoosh that leads to each flashback. It is all done in a piecemeal fashion as it tries to explain, though not convincingly, how an ordinary Joe can turn into a John McClane or a Jack Bauer in less than 48 hours, the time period of the main action. It was a bit much to swallow. Even when the truth regarding the invasion of the retreat is revealed, it stretches the reader's credulity a bit too far. It is just a plot device for the male characters to show off their testosterone.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, September 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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