Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing The Expired by B. P. Smythe.
Here’s the blurb
‘The Expired’ is a psychological thriller masterpiece showing how vulnerable people can be brainwashed to become sleepers (Manchurian Candidates) and used by corrupt politicians to further their own ends. ‘The Expired’ shadows true accounts of government sleeper programmes set up during the Korean War and the East West Cold War.
Commander Gregory Potting is a former head of MI6 Intelligence and the governments most trusted Senior Adviser for Internal Affairs.
His position is put to the test in 1973 when a bizarre psychological plot unfolds that isinextricably linked to a London terrorist attack, a cocaine drug scam, a homosexual called Francis Hodder who suffers from schizophrenia and changes from time to time to Roxanne – a transvestite prostitute who robs and murders his clients.
Francis Hodder is a transsexual who preys on gay men. As a child he is abused by his father who is head of government security. Francis becomes an embarrassment to MI6 because of his gender leaning. He is brainwashed to become a Sleeper assassin triggered by code words to kill personnel who threaten government security. Francis becomes a manipulated pawn, who by mistake during a sexual encounter with a Black September terrorist, uncovers plans for a deadly attack on a densely crowded popular sports event to kill thousands of people to further the cause of EL Fatah and Black September.
After reading the blurb about the book I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.. There’s so much going on… I couldn’t quite see how it would work..Well Mr. Smythe sure showed me, I was sucked in from the first page.
The story mainly focuses on Francis Hodder, a transsexual who abused as a child has grown up to have a long list of issues.. first and foremost he’s got a split personality going on. We have Francis but also Roxanne..
A powerful player in the government sees a way to make use of Francis and he’s brainwashed to kill on command.
What happens next is a rather expertly woven series of events where we learn of other individuals that have been brainwashed.. it’s seems this powerful player is setting up a chessboard of pieces so to speak, ready to do whatever they are told to.
As the game goes on players are eliminated while others emerge and a terrorist plot becomes clear..
I’ve not read anything from the author before but from this I felt he must have one hell of an imagination to put this together. We have Francis and his double life but also a terrorist plot which felt like it could have been a separate tale.
It works enough for me to enjoy the tale but the plot line explored towards the end of the book with Francis’s past and present colliding was the best bit and the terrorist plot was overshadowed by Francis.
The author manages to wrap the tale up nicely..It didn’t feel like any loose ends were there and to be honest I quite enjoyed the book even though it’s quite an unusual read for me.
Overall the pace of the tale is good and the chapter length is easy to swallow, add in a strangely unique plot and you’ve earned a 3* on this one.
My thanks go to the author for the chance to read and review the book in exchange for an honest review.