COVERT DREAMS by Mike Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The idea that governmental agencies are at work manipulating the minds of those who have done terrible deeds in their name has appeared often in thriller lit, starting perhaps most famously with "The Manchurian Candidate," although the idea of using chemical manipulation to shift from one persona to the other goes all the way back to Jekyll and Hyde, or perhaps even to "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
The notion remains an intriguing one, which is what made Mike Meyer's "Covert Dreams" a fun choice to review. The pacing of his story is quick, making the book a nice read for a long airplane ride or a rainy afternoon. The characters remain a bit less dynamic, even the central ones (B.J. and Steven), and the masterminds behind the plot don't seem all that interested in their work either. The story of B.J. and Dabbie is the most compelling, and Meyer's refusal to make this a typical Hollywood resolution (that's all I can say without spoiling things for you) reminds me of the twist at the end of "Arlington Road."
There's a lot to like here -- the plot moves swiftly, and I flipped furiously, wanting to know what happened. When Meyer adds the emotional and motivational depth that one finds in the best books by Ted Bell or Robert Ludlum, he will stand alongside them in the thriller genre.
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