The String by Caleb Breakey

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

The String by Caleb Breakey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

A sociopath who calls himself The Conductor is running a deadly “string” of a social experiment on a university campus. A university cop, Markus Haas, has to decide whether to play along to protect his loved ones or to go after The Conductor and risk more lives being lost in The String by author Caleb Breakey.

Okay. Maybe I read too much and have seen too many ruthless villains to have enough patience when it seems like characters spend a bit too much time in disbelief over an evil person, asking the disguised evil person questions he’s obviously not going to answer (“Who are you?”) or pleading with the evil person or making demands of him (“Stop it!”) as if he’s going to listen. I suppose it’s just human nature, but a little of that in this book, along with my wondering if The Conductor would basically be a knock-off of the Joker, gave me some reservations.

Nevertheless, the more I got invested in the characters, the more my reservations didn’t matter.

What I like most about a core group of characters trapped in the string is that they don’t spend all or most of the time panicking and then just stumbling into solutions. They’re thinking people who choose to be proactive, and it’s not because they’ve all had law enforcement or combat training. Even a few of the key female characters who could’ve easily been the helpless or hysterical damsels in distress throughout a hero’s tale are instead rational women who’ve got grit.

While, yes, this novel is rather gruesome, it’s not a basic “shoot ’em up and catch the bad guy” story with a neat and tidy ending. It’s psychological warfare with spiritual impact. And if you let the central message really hit you (as it hit me), then you’ll likely begin to anticipate the next book in the Deadly Games series.


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