Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at a time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
Five chapters left to go. Last time Jake and Beth got more information, the ex decided to talk to Jake finally while I ponder whose side she’s on, and now we have the remaining players in our game as we inch closer to the finale.
There have been a lot of players in this game, but to the book’s credit each has been handled well. It feels like multiple events within the same story. We got to learn more about Jake and Beth and maybe it’s about time to just let the future be the chronological location instead of all the showing off. Then again, we’re headed to the casino and I wouldn’t be surprised if the gambling games are all futuristic for no other reason than to be futuristic. Let’s check in and find out.
First we have Jake meeting with his contact. We also seem to be taking time to confirm that, whatever one thinks of Warbride’s methods, that the Mexican president in this time period is very much not the hero. Specifically we have a store that claims to sell the latest books from the US, but only if they’ve been approved and you have a permit. As the patron of the bookstore fails to get any of the books he wants he prepares to say something nasty about the lack of freedom of the press until the machine reminds him they know where his hotel is…a subtle threat that Mexico has gone quite fascist. Reminder that this isn’t a political blog unless politics is tied to the story. I’m not sure why this is here so late in the story unless government corruption is coming up in the next few chapters.
The other event in this story is Kate managing to find Jake. Here we have confirmation that she’s romantically (or at least sexually) involved with Bennett Sands and was cheating on Jake. We also get confirmation from her and the contact that Sands is tied to Hokori, so you really picked them well, Katie! I wonder how much your son knows about this but now we know why Dan is in a private school in Mexico. She warns Jake that Hokori wants him dead, and whatever else has happened she doesn’t want them killed. So she suggests Jake take Bethdroid (she may not know if it’s the real Beth or not, nor does she know if Sands and Hokori have the real Beth and her father) and get out of Mexico, or at least Acapulco. What’s missing here despite the other explanations is if Kate arranged the meeting or if she came upon him/looking for him as he came to his contact, which may put her in danger and right now Jake needs her help to rescue the Doctor and his daughter. I still don’t know how trustworthy she is but I’m not the one who has to trust her since I’m not the hero in a fictional story…unless you know something I don’t. I don’t know if we’re supposed to be sure but we do know she’s not with the good guys and she was telling Sands about Jake’s work during pillow talk. Even if she isn’t a knowing participant I’m betting she still played a part in her own husband’s frame-up.
What will be Jake’s next move? I don’t think leaving is an option because he’s on a case and he’s dedicated to his work. Plus the book is almost over and we need a victory since this is a stand-alone that led to a series. Next week, Jake makes his move. I’m hoping. Four chapters left to go after all.