August 29, 2012

SWEAT by Mark Gilleo

Sweat by Mark Gilleo
Paperback, 366 pages
Published August 28, 2012 by The Story Plant
ISBN 13: 9781611880519

When Jake Patrick took a summer internship at his estranged father’s corporation, he anticipated some much-needed extra cash and a couple of free meals from his guilty dad. He would never have guessed that he'd find himself in the center of an international scandal involving a U.S. senator, conspiracy, backroom politics, and murder. Or that his own life would hang in the balance. Or that he’d find help and much more than that from a collection of memorable characters operating on all sides of the law. Jake’s summer has turned into the most eventful one of his life. Now he just needs to survive it.

From the sweatshops of Saipan to the most powerful offices in Washington, SWEAT rockets through a story of crime and consequences with lightning pacing, a twisting plot, an unforgettable cast of characters, and wry humor. It is another nonstop thriller from one of the most exciting new voices in suspense fiction.

My Thoughts on Sweat

I love a good thriller and Mark Gilleo, an author previously unknown to me, delivered with Sweat.  The title may not sound like your typical run of the mill thriller but dig your heels in and dive headfirst into this book, that will have you rapidly turning page after page, and you will understand where the title derived from and why it is ultimately so appropriate. 

Jake is a very sympathetic hero and I liked him very much.  The rawness of his mother's death from  cancer, happening just prior to the beginning of this book, comes across starkly on each page as does his discomfort with his father, Peter.  Despite Peter being a fairly unlikable character, his interactions with Jake are among the best in the book, with an equal split of discomfort, resentment and hostility. 

Mr. Gilleo has a varied assortment of characters present in Sweat but well within reason.  There is not a single extraneous or tertiary character in attendance.  All of them serve a purpose and help to move the story along.  My favorite was a homeless CIA operative who provided some wry humor and a crucial push to the story. 

And what a story!  Sweat certainly has its fair share of action, intrigue, suspense and even espionage.  Washington politics are covered but not to the extent that it will be overwhelming if you do not care to read about such matters.  The suspense was so taut, so expertly penned, that I honestly had no idea what was going to happen - - to Jake, to his father, to his girlfriend . . . to anyone.  I have read a lot of books in my lifetime and it's not easy to keep this reader in the dark and yet Mr. Gilleo managed to do just that. 

I am surprised that I have not been introduced to Mark Gilleo's work prior to this based on how well written Sweat is.  He is a terrific storyteller and a gifted writer and marries the two into a fantastic piece of work that is sure to keep you up to the wee hours to wind your way through the crime and corruption with Jake.   

If you're looking for a solid thriller that will keep your pulse racing, Sweat is the choice for you.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  And if Hollywood has any sense, they will option this book immediately. 

Excellent work, Mr. Gilleo.  You have earned a place on my "authors I must read" list.

Sweat is available for purchase at major booksellers, including Amazon.  I am an Amazon affiliate.  If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.

Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  In no way did the provision of this book affect the outcome of  my review.

About Author Mark Gilleo

Mark Gilleo holds a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in business from George Mason University. He enjoys traveling, hiking and biking. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he currently resides in the D.C. area. His two most recent novels were recognized as finalist and semifinalist, respectively, in the William Faulkner-Wisdom creative writing competition.

For more information, visit Mr. Gilleo's website.  

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