Etienne. “The Burdens of Truth: An Avondale Story, Dreamspinner Press, 2011.
A Case of Blackmail
Since I read Etienne’s first book I have become a diehard fan and what I love about him is that when I criticized him (which I have only done once) he agreed with me. I always find his characters interesting and his plots are dynamic and no matter what, I will read what he writes. In this one we look at blackmail.
Ian Sanderson is both a professor and a government analyst. When he comes home from work one day, he finds a photograph of him in a very incriminating position and soon more follow. However, he is not alone in this and his partner, Randy who is working on a top-secret project for the Pentagon, is in the same situation. It is obvious that there is something going on but we do not know who is responsible and the reasons. A bit later Randy receives a call demanding that he give information on his project and of course, he refuses. The men’s two sons are then kidnapped but they were able to escape but they ended up alone somewhere in the wilderness. Randy and Ian set off to find the blackmailers… (And that is all I will say about the plot).
We know that Ian has intelligence—he teaches at Georgetown but the pressure from the blackmailer is great and it certainly seems that whoever is responsible has found out a lot about Ian and Randy and has some connection to the secret project. At first the threats are ignored but telephone calls are threatening and then the kidnapping in Charleston of their sons forces them to act. And it is not enough that the boys are taken but they have been injected with something. Their escape puts them in a shed somewhere and they can only see another cabin nearby.
I will not spoil any more of the story but I will say it is a compelling tale and it is best to clear your calendar before you sit down to read. The book again proves that Etienne really knows how to tell a story.