Welcome to Murder by the Book's blog about what we've read recently. You can find our website at www.mbtb.com.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Cleaner ($6.99), by Brett Battles

What it is not: It is not related to the A&E TV show; it is not The Faithful Spy, by Alex Berenson. The former is about someone helping to clean up addicts. The latter is an astonishing and thought-provoking modern day spy thriller.

Now for what it is. It is very visual. I think Hollywood is just a couple steps behind with a movie contract. There are car chases, explosions, and gunshots galore. There are all the modern spy threats: high tech, terrorist, and biological. There's a stalwart pro, a true love, and a tag-along "intern." And, of course, everyone's loyalty is questioned.

"Jonathan Quinn" is a "cleaner" for "The Office." If there were a picture of me accompanying this review, I'd be doing a Monty Python nudge, nudge, wink, wink. The freelance operative known as "Quinn" hires out to clean up after assignments. He doesn't normally kill anyone; he just figures out what to do with the bodies. He can also manage operations and skulk and shadow with the best of them. Speaking of shadows, The Office is a shadowy operation that may or may not be government related. Quinn likes to believe it is a deep level operation that helps the good guys.

One day everything goes wrong and Quinn and many other similar operatives are themselves targeted for disposal. Gathering together the aforementioned true love and intern, Quinn sets out to find out what the hell is going on. Car chases, explosions, gunshots, high tech threats, terrorist threats, and biological threats ensue. The end.

The final what it is: It is a movie script that is entertaining without being deep or demanding.

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