Saturday, March 8, 2014

Matthew Quirk: The 500

In his debut novel Matthew Quirk introduces the reader to The 500, the most powerful people who really run Washington, and they use that power to shape it and it is Mike Ford's job to own them:

Mike Ford's past is definitely different from others attending Harvard Law School, and normally is not one you would put on you University application. Mike grew up in a small town, where his father was a con-man and Mike has been learning the techniques of this trade for as long as he can remember. He is completely shocked, when he gets picked for a job at the Davies Group, Washington's most powerful consulting firm but Davies seems to see something in him. Mike never questions what he is asked to do and he becomes a rising star in the company, but some things do not seem right and Mike begins to question everything. Now, he's staring down the barrel of a gun, pursued by two of the world's most dangerous men. To get out, he'll have to do all the things he thought he'd never do again: lie, cheat, steal-and this time, maybe even kill.

 I originally picked up this book because I thought the premise of the book sounded a bit like the TV show Suits, which I am a big fan of. There were just too many similarities not to think that they could be from the same ilk. However, I have since discovered that they are not related but I think if you like the show Suits you will like the book as well.

Yes, you read that correct above, this is Matthew Quirk's debut novel, but you would never know that it is, without searching that information out. Quirk displays a sophistication within his writing and plot lines that you expect from seasoned writers. The first scene will catch your attention and you will need to know how Mike found himself in this situation with a gun to his head. I know it made me want to read more.

I liked the voice that Quick decided to write this book in, with the main character Mike basically talking to the reader about events that have already transpired. I felt that this allowed the reader to get to know the main character better as you were part of his overall thought process. However, this does mean that you do not get to know the secondary characters and have Mike's opinion as to how he sees those characters as well, but for this book I think that it worked really well.

I liked Mike as a character and his struggle, to prove that he was just as good as those who did not have to pay for their education at Harvard and according to him, were just handed all the best opportunities that life could offer while he had to work for every one. Mike comes from an interesting past of con artist and scammers and it is his reliance at times to his past an his father's occupation that makes his work for the Davies Group so interesting. Mike has amazing problem solving skills and just when you think that you can count him out, he is able to come up with a plan, but nothing that seems too crazy, he just sees things differently.

I found this book very interesting and I was captivated throughout and this is a great achievement for a debut author and debut series. I am interested to see how Quirk turns this book into a series, as the ending seemed very final to me, but I think that Quirk will be able to handle this. I am extremely impressed that this is his debut novel and can't wait to pick up his next book.

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