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Declan McIver is a former member of the IRA who is now living in the US, happily married and running his own real estate business. But when he witnesses the killing of a friend and former employer, he becomes a target for those who carried out the assassination and is set up to be the fall guy. Together with his wife, he finds himself on the run having to reconnect with his past which he thought was buried.
Veil of Civility is an intricate conspiracy thriller dealing with an organized terrorist attack by Chechen Islamists in America. It is a well-crafted mix of politics, religion, history and international terrorism. Because of these topics, it is not the type of book that I would usually choose to read. Therefore, it speaks highly of the author's skill that I was fully engaged with the story from the first minute of listening, and I totally surprised myself when the author didn't lose me once throughout the nearly 16 hours of listening. The plot flows extremely well and there is just the right balance between descriptive passages, background information and character dialogue and action.
Apparently, this is Ian Graham's first full-length novel, which is pretty amazing. Listening to this, it becomes evident that an enormous amount of research must have gone into this book. Mr. Graham did a very good job of mixing fiction with historical events and actual locations, and thus manages to create plausibility. Veil of Civility is an action-filled thriller that takes the listener from the US to Wales, Scotland, and Ireland as well as Russia and the Mexican/US border.
I prefer some plot twists and a bit of humor in my reading, there isn't much of that here. But it is extremely well written and very exciting, with a protagonist who comes off as quite a balanced individual despite his past. Declan McIver becomes pretty likable as the man on the run who takes on a corrupt system, and while many of these good-guy-saves-the-world type of stories are over the top and far-fetched, Mr. Graham succeeded in creating a story that was scarily believable.
The narration was fantastic. Being an international thriller, Steve Marvel certainly had his work cut out with the sheer amount of different accents he had to do. Declan's very heavy drawl was a tad over the top, but Mr. Marvel kept all the characters distinct and clear, so dialogues were always easy to follow. There were no issues with the production.
For any listeners interested in political conspiracies or anybody looking for a gripping but plausible international thriller based on sound research, this should be on your list.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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17 of 21 people found this review helpful
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
Yes, very interesting!
What about Steve Marvel’s performance did you like?
He is perfect for this book
Any additional comments?
Veil of Civility: A Black Shuck Thriller is the first book in the Declan McIver series by award winning author Ian Graham and I’m really glad to bring you a review for the audiobook version of this awesome debut novel. Never heard of Mr. Graham before experiencing this immersive story, but his writing style reminds me of some great, entertaining and iconic works by Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum and Daniel Silva.
The story opens with a series of seemingly unrelated events that will set the stage for a great adventure. The listener will be carried away from Mexico to the United States, from Russia to the United Kingdom and later, even to good old Ireland.
Our main character is Declan McIver, an ex-operative with the IRA (Irish Republican Army) that after living a life of violence has settled in the United States trying hard to forget the haunting past. He is happily married with a gorgeous woman that he loves more than anything, but things change when one of Declan’s friends is executed by a group of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. I don’t want to go to much into the plot, because, as you may know, I hate spoilers, so all I’ll add is that Declan and his loving wife will be on the run, trying to escape false accusations and an ever expending conspiracy.
This book is excellent for many reasons and I’ll shine the spotlight just on a few of them: The writing is great, delivering instant immersion, the plot is easy to follow, although Mr. Graham created a story filled with non stop, thrilling and tensed action, a vivid cast of colorful characters, extending even to the bad guys, it never becomes too convoluted or tiresome. We’ll see political corruption at the highest levels of the government, terrorist, conspiracies, manipulation, murders and betrayals contrasting with friendship, love, honor and camaraderie.
Veil of Civility is a fantastic thriller that will be surely enjoyed by readers that liked The Sum of All Fears, Patriot Games and other top notch adventures written by masters like Vince Flynn, W.E.B. Griffin and Tom Clancy. The level of research that Mr. Graham did for this book must be staggering. The attention at details and facts is more than note worthy.
Since this is a review for an audiobook , I want to say a few words about the amazing narration delivered by the award winning actor Steve Marvel. Mr. Marvel brings the significant cast of characters to life like a true professional. He uses different voices, inflections and accents to keep them recognizable in the listeners mind. He switches with ease from Irish accented English to Jewish, British or even Arabic. I’m looking forward to experience more adventures performed with class and talent by Steve Marvel.
It was an absolute pleasure to spend almost 16 hours in this esteemed company! A great story from a promising writer that spins it like a master of thrillers, performed by a true professional, what can a book junkie want more than that? Just get it, it will be grand!
9 of 11 people found this review helpful