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Book Review: Lords of Corruption by Kyle Mills

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Josh Hagerty is a man with a past that he's trying to overcome. A Masters in mechanical engineering isn't enough, so he gets his MBA. His resume is impeccable, but he can't get a break – all because of one thing in his past that haunts him.

When an obscure charity offers him an opportunity to pay off his student loans and overcome his past with some "help your fellow man" work, he accepts, and quickly finds himself in Africa. But things aren't what they seem, and his cake job turns deadly. But with aid worker Annika Gritdal and journalist J.B. Flannary on his side, Josh has a chance to really make a difference – and save thousands of people in the process.

Lords of Corruption has the makings of an outstanding, taut thriller. We've got a main character who is intelligent, strong, hardworking, and driven, with a supporting cast with a variety of different motivations, and antagonists who are as real as today's headlines. The only problem is the lag; for the first 100 pages or so, I wondered if the plot would ever really pick up. I lost a lot of the urgency in those 100 pages, and had a hard time getting it back, even as the plot picked up in intensity.

Josh's character is fairly well developed, though he seems to be trying really hard to overcome one youthful indiscretion. I also had a hard time believing that the offense that he was convicted of would be serious enough for any employer to ignore his qualifications. I enjoyed his interaction with his family, and felt that it gave his character a bit more depth, even though it made the "whole world is against me except one person, gee I hope the bad guys don't use her against me" plotline almost a requisite.

There were elements of the plot that were predictable – almost too predictable. There were enough surprises to keep me mildly interested, and I'd have really enjoyed Lords of Corruption if it hadn't taken so long for the plot to pick up speed.

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