Sweat - Mark Gilleo Jake Patrick has recently lost his mother to cancer. He takes up an internship at his father’s office expecting some easy cash. But awaits him is an adventure of a life time. A coded message makes its way into Jake’s hand that gets him sucked right smack into the middle of an international scandal that threatens his life.

I had the opportunity to read the author’s debut novel ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ while it was touring with PICT sometime back. It turned out to be a gripping thriller that had me turning pages right till the end. Mark’s talent in telling a story in a way that forces its reader to invest in it completely was evident right from the beginning of his debut novel. So when this book came up on the tour, I didn’t want to miss it either. And I am glad that I had signed up immediately because Mark has only gotten better this time. He has managed to create another scintillating web of mystery and action that had me from the very beginning. There is politics, conspiracy, murder, blackmail and even a bit of romance without the overdose of any one particular aspect. A particularly complex story told in a way to keep you guessing at every turn yet its only after you put down the book is when you realize the depth of it. An amazing plot with just the exact mix of intrigue and action while capturing some not so pretty reflections of reality.

Another specialty of Mark Gilleo is his brilliant characters. ‘Sweat’ has quite a few characters. Each of them are interesting as individuals and also each compliment the other in some way or the other. There’s not a single character in the book that I can point out as ‘unnecessary’ to the plot as they all brought in different elements. The interactions between the father and son was something I found really interesting.

The setting – from Washington to Saipan was perfect. And though I have never been to any of those places, I found it very easy to imagine the setting and the situations thanks to the author’s eye for details. He is very descriptive about the surroundings and thus helping us to get into the story as a part of it rather than as a third person watching the story unfold from far.

Reading this book was time well invested and I am certainly going to make it a point to not miss out on any of Mark Gilleo work. If you love mystery / thrills / intrigue – then give this book a chance, I am sure that you will not be disappointed.