The Death Trust

by David Rollins

DEATH TRUST, Australian author David Rollins's debut novel, is just
seeing its publication in the United States in 2007, but he is
already very well known elsewhere in the world for his work, which
combines military thriller hardware with traditional and
contemporary mystery elements. Once one has read this book,
Rollins's worldwide popularity will become wholly

The novel introduces Special Investigator Major Vin Cooper, who is
assigned to look into the apparent accidental death of Abraham
Scott, a four-star general who died while hang-gliding in Germany.
Scott's death has attracted attention, given that his father-in-law
is the Vice President of the United States and his son had died in
combat a year previous. Cooper has no such pedigree; he has been
shot up in combat, chewed up and spit out in relationships, and
flirts with alcoholism when not making a total commitment to it.
Oh, and he is also afraid of flying, an unusual phobia for an Air
Force officer.

Cooper's assignment is either going to keep his career on life
support for a while longer or disconnect it entirely. It does not
take Cooper long to discover that General Scott's death was the
result of sabotage. As he begins his murder investigation, however,
Scott's widow (whose post-mortem lack of bereavement is
noteworthy) produces a suicide note. End of

Well, not really. Cooper and Special Agent Anna Masters smell
several rats and are not about to give things up so easily. They
begin following a shadowy and dangerous trail that leads them from
the explosive streets and alleys of Iraq to the sensuous nightlife
of Latvia to the harrowing, war-torn countryside of Chechnya, even
as they themselves are pursued by an enigmatic and powerful group
known as The Establishment. Trail's end for Cooper, however, takes
him to the most surprising location of all where everything is
revealed, even as those revelations may well cost him his

THE DEATH TRUST is an impressive debut, exquisitely paced and
well-balanced between military and mystery. Rollins's
characterizations are uniformly interesting as well; Cooper, in
particular, is an impressive protagonist, not overly likable but
reasonably so, an individual who oftentimes is his own worst enemy.
Here's hoping that publication of the remainder of Rollins's books
catches up on these shores soon.


Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 29, 2010

The Death Trust
by David Rollins

  • Publication Date: September 25, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0553805347
  • ISBN-13: 9780553805345