Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chaos by Jeff Downs

Book Review by Rob Ficiur

Title: ChaosAuthor: Jeff Downs Publisher: Covenant CommunicationsGenre: MysteryYear Published: 2007Number of Pages: 247Binding: Soft coverISBN: 978-1-59811-158-3Price: $15.95

I read this book in a week, while I was away from home. My home away from home was a university dorm room on a very quiet campus. Why am I giving these seemingly insignificant details – read on.

The novel begins on an ordinary day when teacher Jason Harrington picks up his school mail. He almost dismisses an odd note that said “I found you, Musor. Now you will die.” When Jason arrives home he found his apartment had been trashed. Was it a robbery? A phone call told him it was something worse. “I am the one who destroyed your place and when the time is right I will be the one who kills you.” The phone call concluded with an ever more sinister announcement. The mysterious caller had framed Jason in the killing of four policeman – call the law won’t get Harrington the help he needs.

Jason took off, not knowing where to go – except as far away from his home as he could. Once Jason was on his own – there was no one he could turn to for help. The police will stake out his parents and friends. How can he prove himself innocent when he doesn’t even know the evidence against him?

Eventually Jason phones the only person he can think – his ex girlfriend Kelly. After splitting up with her two years ago he had met up with her at a gas station last week. They had arranged to have dinner to catch up - now he needed her – because he knew the police would not be monitoring her.

The plot thickens as Jason and Kelly try to escape the rogue agent of the Russian mafia and try to prove Jason’s innocence. The rogue agent was the ultimate terrorist taking pot shots at Jason (and Kelly) whenever he could – knowing full well he could finish them off whenever he wanted to.

Whenever I took a break from reading and wandered down the quiet corridor of the nearly deserted university dorm – I began to look over my shoulder. There aren’t any rogue agents here are there? Make sure the door is locked and dead bolted. Is it safe to take a shower – what if a secret agent comes upon me I will be utterly defenseless?

The sign of a great book is if the reader feels like they have been there. Jeff Downs succeeded (probably more than I really wanted considering I was alone in a far away city…)

With less than 100 pages to read I had to finish the book before I went to sleep – hoping it had a happy ending and that I could go to sleep knowing that Jason and Kelly were not longer being chased by the agent.
I would encourage anyone who likes a fast paced mystery to read this book – if you want to really experience the book do it in a strange city where anyone you see could be a rogue agent looking


Rob Ficiur said...

Update to what I wrote - My wife read Chaos and enjoyed it. She read it in the comfort of home - so she did not experience the paranoid - is there a spy chasing me - feeling that I got reading the book far from home and in a quiet eerie setting.

Jennifer Leffler said...

I really enjoyed Chaos and had a tough time putting it down.