“With heart-pounding action, compelling plot twists, and a rich tapestry of characters, The Wilkes Insurrection is a contemporary thriller of anarchic obsession and heroic ambition. Its perfect blend of callous villains, iconic heroes, and political intrigue will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”
It did indeed keep me on edge but not for the reasons that are listed above. It is too close for comfort.
What do I mean with that?
From the descriptions that you can find online, for example here and here, you can see that this book, as a contemporary thriller, draws on real life events. That in itself may cause some readers to be on edge. I had trouble reading about the airplane coming down as I immediately made the September 11 connection. But that was not what got to me.
What Bach does in this book, is not just telling the story of a divided America in the grips of terrorists and their attacks. He exposes how it was and is still done to this day. It isn’t exactly ‘easy’ to execute these attacks but he exposes the lack in security, the blind spots, and the human failures that make it possible.
By detailing the planning and how the attacks are executed, he strips bare the layers that stay hidden in the media. Bach then highlights what we do see, especially on social media, and how it distracts from the bigger questions and pictures obscuring the bigger fish. It is on the one hand cleverly done and on the other hand, too close for comfort.
The pace is good, the chapters are well proportioned, the characters grow on you, and the story lines eventually do come together. However, some story lines fizzle out or end in unrealistic manners. This book comes out on October 12, 2021 so I am tap dancing around the plot and the aftermath.
I struggle with the character who finds family again and who somehow does not face consequences for their criminal actions despite their actions’ traceability. Who and how absolves them, is unbelievable.
There is no epilogue-style closure in which we learn more details about the main culprit, where story gaps get filled in, and readers’ suspicions do or do not get confirmed. You can guess those details but how exactly this person got out of one situation and into the next, remains unclear.
Another issue are the hints dropped about the main culprit and their identity. Some physical descriptions and the references to the main female character lead you to suspect who this really is. This, however, never gets confirmed or denied. If there was no connection, the hints should not have been dropped or they should have been phrased differently. Once you have read this book, you know one connection. But there is another hinted at that ties to the female main character.
Maybe all this is because I read an advanced reader’s copy but I cannot imagine that things so crucial would be kept out of an ARC.
Bach has a website dedicated to the book where you can find more information and details about the main characters, etc. Despite the fizzles, the book is good. However, it isn’t one that I can bond with because, like I said, it is too close for comfort.
But that is my personal opinion. You need to make up your own mind. So, go ahead and read the book. Then, let me know what you think. You can find Robbie Bach on Twitter.