My review: The Chosen Seven, by Gill D. Anderson

About the book:

FARZAD ABED is an unhinged Iranian immigrant living in Australia. His sociopathic tendencies coupled with his political views make him a very dangerous man indeed. Farzad wants the world to sit up and take notice of him and randomly selects six bystanders to hold hostage at a city restaurant.

JACOB BROWN is a fitness fanatic who finds himself at the centre of a bizarre situation when he arrives at his favourite restaurant to pick up a takeaway for dinner.

JAGRITI GOSHAL is a young unassuming Indian waitress working at Alessandro’s Cucina.

REGINA TERRY is a fearless Afro-American woman in Australia on a business visa who unexpectedly finds herself embroiled in a crazy siege with a madman.

LEVI HAINES and BILL WALKER are colleagues having a business dinner at the restaurant. Bill is Levi’s sleazy boss with unethical intentions and Levi is dining with him against her will.

PAUL TOWNSEND is a local electrician who happens to drop off a quote at Alessandro’s Cucina at the same time Farzad descends on the restaurant to begin taking hostages.

Follow the roller coaster ride of emotions as these strangers find themselves embroiled in a terrifying siege orchestrated by a madman. The authorities scramble to put together a definitive plan of action to contain the situation quickly. But not everyone will come out alive …

My review:

I would like to thank Gill for the opportunity to read her second book and provide an honest review. I am always keen to support local authors.

Having interest in terroristic acts/hostage situations and how they are resolved, I was looking forward to reading this particular book.

It’s set in Adelaide, where I live, which makes it especially interesting. Adelaide is a state capital with a reasonable population and at the same time it is a small place where ‘everyone knows everyone’, and if you don’t know someone, you definitely know them through someone else. This phenomenon was demonstrated really well in the book and made me giggle a few times.

I was a little bit disappointed that book didn’t focus enough on a hostage drama, police and special force discussions and thoughts. I was hoping it would get a little bit more into psychological drama. Instead, it was mostly about prior histories of the hostages and their relatives that had nothing to do with the main storyline. I am not a big fan of ‘describing’ or ‘profiling’ characters instead of ‘telling the stories’ that give you an idea of who the character is as a person.

The characters were very different from each other but a little bit stereotyped. I didn’t feel any particular connection to any of them.

Probably the biggest message I got from reading the book is that this situation can happen anywhere, even in a smallishplace like Adelaide. The ending made me think about how events like this affect every involved person’s life and that it’s always good to pause and think if you are going the right way and if you are making the right decisions in life because anything can happen anytime…

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