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Monday, February 17, 2020

Review: The Names of the Dead

The Names of the Dead is a shallow, made for Hollywood story. The plot is predictable, the characters stereotypical, and even the places and settings feel like Hollywood cut-outs rather than full blown characters. It's major virtue is that it's short, written transparently, and made for easy reading --- an airplane novel.

The story revolves around James Wesley, who starts the book off in jail, only to be freed because his wife was killed in a terrorist attack. That's implausible. Then his CIA operators pick him up so they can hill him, and by himself he attacks and kills them instead, walking away and being picked up by the daughter of another prisoner. Also implausible. Of course it's a woman, and not only does she help him, she (coincidentally) has an open schedule and chauffeurs him all over Spain.

The amount of implausibility in the entire plot was so large, and the attention to detail so little, that I was convinced that the author must have been American. Who else would be so ignorant as to not know the children under 4 travel for free on the Spanish rail system and wouldn't need a ticket? Even more salient, who else would, having gotten a woman who'd helped them out in trouble, would refuse to get all the help they could in rescuing her and instead go into a hostage situation outnumbered just so they could show how macho they were?

Not recommended.

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