Saturday, November 22, 2008

Book Review: Tracks by Mike Gordon

Tracks is a techno-thriller focusing on medical implants which allow the monitoring of patients health but also provide the means for a disturbing level of surveillance; this is the first novel by Mike Gordon.

Tracks scores very highly from the beginning with an exciting introduction whereby a patient receives a phone call in the early hours informing him that he is about to have a heart attack; this beginning also introduces the reader to the problems surrounding this sort of monitoring. Whilst the plot is by no means easy to predict and contains a number of complexities, it is also laid out in a understandable and readable way. Where many similar novels get tangled up in lots of techno-jargon, the author here very skilfully avoids this and makes the reader concentrate on the plot rather than trying to impress with techno-speak.

The main character, Peter Miller, is an interesting one and a slightly unusual hero, being something of a geek with some problems engaging with other people. This, and other characters are well-formed enough to add another element to Tracks, but character development is not the primary goal of this novel - largely it is plot-driven and in this it succeeds in gripping the reader from page one until the end.

This novel is a fine effort from a first-time author and as a self-published book, it is remarkably good. Possibly the highest compliment I can pay Tracks and Mike Gordon is that the novel was one that I looked forward to picking up and continuing to read rather than one that was a chore to get to the end of.

Tracks is highly recommended to those who enjoy well thought out plots filled with controversial ideas. I would urge book lovers to buy this novel and support a self-publishing, new author in hope that he writes a second novel.

Score: 7.5/10

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