Years ago, Jose’s brother was killed at sea. He was a military man that ended up on the losing side of a military battle. Even though death is a constant risk that men willingly face when they join the military, Jose is still angered beyond all reason when he learns that his brother’s ship was attacked by the British navy and dedicates his life to getting revenge.
I waited for a reason to like Jose, but that moment never came. The main character has set is sights on launching a terrorist attack on the Queen and mercilessly kills anyone that might get in his way. Through the years, he has worked his way through the military ranks so he would be in a position to make a move if the opportunity presents itself. Everything he does is towards reaching his goal.
Is Joe Sanchar a believable character? Yes, Coville has done a good job with breathing life into the MC, but he has created a selfish, angry person that has no redeeming qualities. Rather than hope the main character succeeds in his mission, I hoped with every turn of the page that his plan would be undone.
As far as the plot itself goes, there were only two sources of irritation, but one of those flaws was pointed out repeatedly, resulting in an unending feeling of frustration.
Jose is nowhere near his brother when Alfredo dies, but the story constantly makes references that imply otherwise. At one point, I even flipped back to the beginning of the book just to make sure I wasn’t misremembering details. There are frequent mentions of Jose remembering his brother’s lifeless eyes or being haunted by his dying eyes, but Jose didn’t see his brother die. The ship that carried Alfredo sank and the body was never recovered. Jose never looked into his brother’s eyes while he died or after he died, but he’s still somehow tormented by this memory.
The other flaw has to be handled delicately because it contains a spoiler to the story. Suffice it to say that towards the end of the book, a character named Turnbull tells Sanchar a little white lie. It’s innocent enough, but it would never happen. The events that have led up to the moment make this act of kindness all but impossible and it completely shatters the illusion, knocking the reader completely out of the story.
If you enjoy rooting for the villain and hope the hero fails, “Target – The Queen!” by Christopher Coville might be an interesting read for you, but I prefer reading about characters that I hope succeed in their missions.
Target – The Queen!
Trafford Publishing (2007)
Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views (10/12)