Richard Scott, known to his friends as Scottie, is a self-centred, womanising coward. When his wife realises the extent of his infidelity a divorce ensues. On a visit to his daughter Tina, who is studying at Aberystwyth, he finds that she has not forgiven him for the way he had treated her mother and he is left to dine alone. What happens after the meal and a copious amount of alcohol, gets Scottie into a situation which worsens by the day. The document he stumbles upon is of great value to some very ruthless men. On the run from the terrorists and the police, eventually he has to find the courage to do one decent thing in his life.
One Decent Thing, by Michael E. Wills…how do I begin explaining the sense of relief I felt as I started into this book? It was that good.
The story itself is set in 1975 England, during a time when terrorist bombings were common, thanks to the IRA. Scottie is a middle-aged alcoholic womanizer that lost the love and respect of his ex-wife. And his daughter. The story begins with him visiting his daughter in college.
Scottie has a run in with two IRA members along the beach at night as they crash land on the shore. After a dubious moral choice, Scottie is in possession of very sensitive documents. Now here’s where things start to pick up.
The action is well-paced and left me on the edge of my seat. It became a heart-pounding ordeal to follow along Scottie’s mishaps. Will he escape this time? Where does he go from there? Things in the story get intricate the deeper into it the reader gets. Both sides were well thought-out in their pursuits. They complimented nicely. The author presents both the IRA and Scottie as people you could run into anywhere. It makes them both sympathetic. There are brief moments of doubt when it comes to what side you’re cheering for. The ending, and what leads up to it, is something between James Bond and Scooby-Doo. The composition is masterful, and so is the execution.
Characterization, for the most part, was spot on. For the most part, they had their own tone and voice. There’s two characters later that I had a hard time telling apart. They had similar personalities. Given their proximity, it took a bit more effort to follow along. Still, their interactions flowed well, as did the dialogue.
I did have to brush up on my British slang. There are plenty of context clues to make the reading easier. I still found myself looking up more precise definitions to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I never felt like I was being jolted out of the story. If anything, it enhanced the experience. And, I learned a few new things. I love it when novels managed to teach me something new.
This was quite the thriller to read. Everything from writing style to character development was excellent. The level of detail and intricacy that went into the intrigue aided the tone. If you’re craving a different, heart-pounding adventure, Michael E. Wills has you covered.