Friday, April 24, 2009

Book Review

This is a recent review for Breakthrough from People are taking notice and have good things to say about the book:

The author, Stephen Tremp, has an interesting background in information systems, management and finance. He uses that kind of complexity in this unique thriller. The book begins with a frantic James Bond like chase down a stairwell of a Las Vegas Hotel. We learn of a scientific breakthrough that will change our perspective on the physical world, then there’s a female assassin dressed in some kind of outfit worn by practitioners of the Japanese martial art of ninjutsu. Between these fireworks are some scenes of California that almost feel like they’re out of a guidebook: “Ti Amo is an Italian restaurant with an elegant, yet relaxed atmosphere that was perfect for an escape from the harsh world outside. It was a place where a couple could find authentic Italian food and excellent French wine.” These descriptive passages do allow us to catch our breath.

What I liked: the central character’s name (Chase Manhattan), the Boston snow storm that has an ongoing role in the East Coast part of the story, procedural detail and the multitude of central characters and their relationships to one another. And there is the promise of a unique new type of danger` : “What if someone took a journey through a wormhole and brought back with them—something that they wouldn’t be aware of with their five senses, yet something that is very much alive and ultimately unleashed on an unsuspecting world?”

Some of the pacing seemed erratic, a bit of the scientific exposition a little heavy handed and the violence tends toward the gruesome (“…and with blinding speed, Staci raised the Glock 22 with both hands. In an instant, a well-placed bullet entered Rosie’s left eye, ricocheting inside her head like a pinball, and finally coming to rest in her parietal lobe.”). And there are occasionally wooden paragraphs telling, rather than showing, a character’s state of mind.

But there is also the intriguing, quasi-erotic life and death struggle between Chase and Staci. This is a good read that will keep you turning pages late into the wormhole of night. Gradually we do come to care about the main characters beyond the plot twists. And maybe we end up finishing the book knowing more about cyberspace than when we started (though the almost movie like special effects of the time/space traveler appearing out of bubble seems a bit too “Dr. Who”). I like the teamwork in the last part of the book. The story doesn’t really end, however, just ushers us on to the next installment.

This author’s got what it takes. There are a few bumps in the road but the main thing a reader can accuse him of is pushing the suspense genre beyond its usual limits. If you are ready for more (string theory, personal relationships, a tour of West Coast hot spots, Boston police procedures), “Breakthrough,” will take you there. And if you aren’t, well there’s always James Bond.

Check out the review at:$spindb.query.listreview2.booknew.17904


  1. Great review Stephen! Congrats.

    I'd like to see your bookcover in the sidebar and post your name up there. We need to be able to recognize the book in the store and we need to easily find your name.


  2. Great review! Congrations! I felt very happy when I got my first book review. Did you celebrate?

  3. Excellent review, Stephen. I love thrillers, so will be very interested in reading Breakthrough. Good luck!....Pat

  4. This is a well written review. Thanks!

    Marvin D Wilson

  5. Great review. It can be tough to read what others have to say about your book, but with a review like this one, it sure makes it a lot easier!