Albatross is a wonderfully absorbing, fast-paced story about a U.S. government agent by the name of Alexander Burns who was betrayed and seriously injured in a cover-up during a foreign military operation. His injuries involved memory loss to some extent and he now wishes to set the record straight while confronting the grueling task of regaining his memory and simultaneously facing down those who stand to lose much if he is successful in doing so.
It is a particularly timely novel, in this era of government secrets, spying, and international hostilities. It is also particularly chilling, as the plot is just real enough that while reading it, I often wondered “how easily could something like this actually happen?”The main and secondary story lines move along briskly, holding the reader’s interest and carefully revealing details of the scenes, the characters’ thoughts, and the events that shape the action. So for this reason and because of the subject material, the story fits squarely in the genre of “action/thriller” and it would certainly be very easy to enjoy this novel in one long sitting. But that’s not to say that it is a “light” book purely for entertainment. It demands the reader’s attention, especially with regard to dialogue and the details and how they link to one another, and also to observing the characters’ psychological characteristics and growth, developed so well by the author who clearly drew on his professional experience in the field of psychology.
Long before the book ends, it is easy to find oneself drawn in to the characters, as their personalities, drives, and personal struggles - crafted so well and so thoroughly - slowly unfold. Alexander Burns and the three other main characters are an unlikely group of people thrown together and forced to focus on a common goal, while their equally unlikely relationships with one another take shape.
There are no simplistic “good guys” and “bad guys” in this book, but rather just human beings, individually complex by nature as we all are, who are pulled into situations and forced to make the best of their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. The book does not end at a final ending point, but rather at a “breather” in the story, fortunately to be continued in book 2 of the series (Raven). - Suzanne Owen