Book Review: THE LAST SCENARIO
By Marcos Gabriel
Release Date: 24 May 2014
I received a free copy of this book from net galley.com in exchange for an honest review of this title.
About the Story
Marcos Gabriel’s THE LAST SCENARIO is a terrific thriller. The set up begins with a group of ordinary citizens called in to brainstorm potential terrorist threats that the military might not have thought of–a way of bringing in new perspectives and fresh ideas to the anti-terrorist efforts. Three months later, one of those ordinary citizens, Samantha Waters, a divorced schoolteacher and mother of a little girl, realizes that of the 6 other people who were on that panel, 5 are dead, leaving only her and the mysterious John Ryder alive. And they’re on the run to find out who’s killing them off–and why. The obvious answer–the only thing that connected this diverse group–was that panel of scenarios. And the worst of the scenarios they had come up with, the one that could result in potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths, was the last scenario, the one Samantha had thought of.
The Book Review
This book is a little slow getting started, but it’s worth sticking with the story because it posits a scenario that is truly frightening. And the ultimate “bad guys” are also far too possible. There are a number of things I particularly liked about this novel. First, there was no awkward or forced romantic relationship between Samantha and John. While ultimately they became friends as well as allies, that did not instantaneously translate into instant sexual attraction. That kept the story highly believable. The author also did a fabulous job of thinking through a plot that is complex, yet credible and one that you think might be pulled from tomorrow’s headlines.
On the downside, and the reason this didn’t get 5 stars, the writing is fairly clunky at times. Like many action thrillers, there’s so much setup required to make the story understandable, that it takes a lot of time to get this story rolling. The necessary back story isn’t always smoothly executed, but it’s not there to excess. It’s slow at the start, but the last half of the book is breathlessly entertaining and all but un-put-downable.
The Bottom Line
If you’re an adrenaline junkie and like more than a few thrills and chills in your reading, THE LAST SCENARIO by Marcos Gabriel really is a superb choice. The threat is credible, complicated, and beautifully tied up at the end, with the denouement flowing naturally from the story, not at all “pasted on.”
STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. 4 Stars.