The Wreckage Review
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For several years now, news outlets have been flooded with reports of both war in the Middle East and global financial crisis. In his new thriller, The Wreckage, author and former investigative journalist Michael Robotham mines the headlines to create a story that marries both of these all-too-familiar topics.

War correspondent Luca Terracini doesn’t play by the rules. He doesn’t live inside Baghdad’s posh International Zone like his colleagues, and he doesn’t shy away from the tough stories. Lately, he’s been following a number of suspicious bank robberies—but someone clearly wants him off the case.

Meanwhile, in London, former detective Vincent Ruiz unofficially returns to the job after he’s scammed by a young woman named Holly. When he goes to recover the items that she stole from him, he shows up right after her ex-military boyfriend is tortured and killed. Now the same men are after Holly, and she has no one but Ruiz to protect her.

Somehow, both cases are connected to Richard North, a London banker who’s gone missing—and a notebook that he may have left behind.

The Wreckage is certainly a timely thriller, combining two of the most headline-grabbing topics in recent years. If you didn’t think that bankers could get any shadier—or that their image could get any more tarnished—you’ll be amazed by the shady characters and their dark deals.

Robotham effortlessly combines the back-room arrangements made by greedy number-crunchers with the horrors of terrorism to create a complex story about the business of war. It’s an intricately detailed story, and there’s a lot going on, it’s sometimes tough to wade through all of the characters and their connections—especially since many of the characters are difficult to differentiate.

This isn’t the kind of light reading that you pick up before jumping on a plane or hitting the beach; it’s pretty slow going as you follow along with Luca and Ruiz, trying to untangle the mess of militants and businessmen and politicians. You’ll have to pay attention to the multitude of characters in order to get an idea of what’s going on—and, in the end, you might still be left with some unanswered questions.

If you’re fascinated by stories of war and corruption, you’ll enjoy this knotty thriller. But don’t expect non-stop action and adventure. Though there are plenty of dangers along the way (and many of the characters are almost always on the run), much of the action takes place behind the scenes or in secret meetings, giving the story its somewhat deliberate pacing. If you have the time and the energy for it, The Wreckage is a dark and challenging war thriller. But if you’re looking for a fast-paced beach read, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

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