One could reasonably conclude that Tim Green is a fairly busy guy.
He is a practicing attorney, hosts a television show, is a
commentator on a number of others, and most importantly is a
husband and father. And, somewhere in the pause of all those day's
occupations, he writes. He has penned two nonfiction works and a
bunch of novels, of which his latest, EXACT REVENGE, is his tenth.
It is also, by the way, his best. Considering he is such a busy
guy, you would think that Green's writing would suffer, but he
actually has gotten better and more focused with each novel.
Raymond White, the protagonist in EXACT REVENGE, has the world by
the tail with a downhill pull. He is engaged to a gorgeous woman,
earning megabucks with a law firm, and about to be nominated for a
seat in Congress. All he does is perform an errand that is more an
act of kindness than anything else, and --- BOOM! --- his world
comes crashing down. White is arrested, tried, and convicted of
murder --- oh yeah, that Congressional seat goes down the drain,
too --- and he finds himself sitting in a maximum-security prison.
White is there for a long time --- twenty years --- figuring out
that he got set up and the how, why, and whom of it. But there's
not much he can do, as his appeals are all exhausted.
Help arrives from an unexpected source, namely a wizened convict
who White dramatically befriends and who in turn provides White
with a way out, and a way back. White has had twenty years to plot
a revenge against the people who wronged him, and he's a patient
man. He also knows that killing would be too good for them, because
it's too quick. He's aware that revenge is a lunch that is best
eaten cold. And slowly.
EXACT REVENGE is influenced by the classic work THE COUNT OF MONTE
CRISTO, and Green both acknowledges and pays tribute to that work
by including quotations from it at the commencement of each section
of EXACT REVENGE. Even if you are intimately familiar with
Alexandre Dumas's classic work, however, Green's updated homage
will surprise, delight and entrance. Recommended.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 21, 2011