Blackmail is the first book by Arthur David, or rather it is the second iteration of his first book. One of the tough things to do as a reviewer is to tell the author a book is not ready for print. Especially when that review is going out where people looking for books to read will see it.
The first time I saw Blackmail it had a great concept at the heart of it, but needed a lot of work. I posted the review. Arthur sent me a note thanking me and I didn’t think about it again until Arthur contacted me to ask me to look at his book, now revised and review it again.
I get so few people coming back asking for me to look at a rewritten book, I decided I would take it on. I’m glad I did.
Blackmail introduces a character with that name. She works for a shadowy organization called ‘The Third Party” whose appointed task is the improvement of the world. She is given a new recruit to train so we get to ride along and learn what the life of an agent is like.
Blackmail is my favourite kind of hero. She’s not perfect. She makes mistakes, takes bruises and is human. We get to see a lot of that humanity in her training as, in spite of herself, she starts to care about her trainee.
The book is intended as a first in a series, but Arthur does a good job of closing it out, while leaving little doubt the story is not done. We get introduced to a variety of characters, villains and heroes and it isn’t always easy to tell them apart. What is particularly well done is the motivation of the villains is the same motivation as the hero.
While the book is not quite up to my standard for five stars, it deserves four with a fun to read story with solid characterization and truly interesting world building. I recommend it to people who like thriller/near future sci-fi.
You can buy the book at Amazon.