By Mitchell Graham
St. Martin's Press
Reviewed by BadgerDaddy
Reviewed by BadgerDaddy
Some books scream "Take me on holiday! I won't let you down!" Well, Majestic Descending does just that – unless you're going on a cruise, that is.
Atlanta attorney Katherin Adams is cruising on the Ocean Majestic liner with her bezza mate, and she meets a very nice man, they become friends, she has trust issues, they snog, blah blah blah… In the meantime, a scientist has solved problems linked with stem cell reproduction that could see untold medical advances and help all mankind. Of course, they're on the same boat, and some unscrupulous characters are after the good doctor's work, and they're willing to do anything to get it. Anything at all.
Katherine travels from cruise ship to Europe and back to the States for a showdown to uncover who is behind the professor's murder, as she digs deep to find the bad guys – and save her own life.
Majestic Descending genuinely surprised me in places, and above everything it's a lot of fun. It's not much apart from a lot of fun, but that's not a bad thing. The author has an eye for pace, and his dialogue's not too shabby either. There is an occasional lack of detail, or a key event hinges on some very flimsy evidence or turn of phrase and you're almost lost as a reader, but he just about keeps the runaway train that is Majestic Descending on track.
For an action-based thriller, the main character is surprisingly well-drawn and with a strong woman leading the line, this should appeal comfortably to both sexes and all inbetween.
This is a book you'll likely see everywhere on your daily commute, it has that kind of broad appeal and it's an easy and pleasurable read. Like many action thrillers though, you get the feeling that it's eminently filmable, almost as is; if any producers are thinking about that, please note what I'm about to write: Poseidon and Speed 2.
Mitchell Graham clearly has some talent as, for all their simplicity, these books are tough to write and Dan Brown for one could learn a thing or two from Graham's peak-and-trough plotting; so many post-Da Vinci Code books have gone for the same kind of incessant peak-peak-peak action/cliffhanger approach. Graham has the confidence and skill to bring us to the edge of excitement, then ease off and the plunge us over the edge three chapters later. Majestic Descending is a damn fine summer read – but get it before the nights draw in…