In Venom by Colin Falconer, we follow the life of Michael Christian. Born of mixed heritage and loved from birth by his mother, he is unwanted by his father and has learned a hard lesson very early. With hatred escalating between his parents, he is abandoned by his mother as she tries to move on. The Lies from Jogi have come home to her, and she has learned that he will never marry her for he is already married in his own country. The bitterness and betrayal create a chasm and she takes the only chance she has, for she has found she is pregnant again, and there is only one option left to her. A loveless marriage, but one that will help her win her father’s graces again and will give her unborn child a name.
Yet Michael is always on her mind, the bitterness of her betrayal of her own young son makes her into a different woman than the one she is destined to be. Certain in her mind that he is safe with his father, she moves on, but is unable to forget.
Michael feels only anger and betrayal. From his mother who has abandoned him, and from his father who has thrown him away. He finds his own way in life in the back streets through whatever means make themselves known. He finds very little friendliness, and much hardship. The anger is the only means of strength he can muster, and he thinks of nothing but revenge. He reaches his manhood in wartime Saigon, and remembers every betrayal and beating. With his survival skills and his good looks he builds his own little piece of life, surviving as a criminal.
As the years pass, a string of deaths from around the world reach the desk of Interpol headquarters. Captain Rene Budjinski is hot on the trail and finds the route to lead from Bombay to Paris. Following his own agenda, he is unsure where his search will lead him. With the master criminal cornered and behind bars, the end seems fated. Yet Michael has one last chance, can it be the redeeming factor?
Falconer has created an intense drama, full of vitriol and fear. His characters are a mix of brutal, egocentric, and dangerous. The flaws are exposed and the edginess of the expected disaster keeps your own nerves tingling as you worry and hope for an honorable solution. You feel the pain and fear and experience a cognitive understanding of what makes them react the way they do.
The description of Saigon as a war torn country make you feel like you are there. The grittiness and brutality add a tenseness all their own.
If you enjoy suspenseful thrillers you will find this work a great find. Falconer creates an intensity that keeps you reading long after hours. This would be a great book for a book club or reading group full of the types of situations that create active dialogue.[amazon asin=B007XDNQ80&template=iframe image]