Sunday, August 2, 2009

Title Fifty Four: The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie

Guess what? House wrote a book! I had to buy it. Those sexy blue eyes were just gazing at me from the back cover, whispering, "Oh Nicole, I've been waiting for you. Take me home." So I did.

I didn't expect it to be a great work of literature, and it's not. But what The Gunseller is, is a fun, fast, twisty romp of a spy thriller. Thomas Lang, ex-Scots Guard and general layabout, was drifting along just fine until the day he was offered a large sum of money to kill a wealthy businessman. Lang, of course, doesn't want the job, thank you very much, but he gets sucked into a tangled scheme involving arms dealers, terrorists, the CIA, a groundbreaking new model of fighter helicopter, and a pretty girl before he can even open a fresh bottle of Scotch. Blackmailed on several fronts, Lang is forced to be a bad guy, which he manages to do pretty well, but not without several layers of guilt weighing on his conscience and making him determined to find a way to flip the script on the guys holding the reins.

Honestly, the novel is a blast. The conversational tone made me picture Laurie, sitting in a leather armchair with a drink at his elbow, just spinning out this yarn while we relaxed in front of a fire on a chilly day. Lang is a fantastic protagonist, just a sort of everyman with some specially-acquired military skills who would prefer to mind his own business but has just a little more under the surface than you would expect. The plot double-crosses and then twists back on itself, but it's never too complicated to follow, with just enough sex and violence thrown in. The dialogue is organic and snappy and the characters given the right bit of nuance to make them interesting without taking over.

Go ahead, try it. Those eyes are begging you.


Mr. Controversy said...

I have this and Stephen Fry's Revenge sitting on my headboard at home. Sitting next to each other too. Maybe that's why I've been hearing comedy in my sleep? Anyway, I think I'll accelerate my plans to read this book after I've completed what's on my plate at the moment.

Lora said...

I don't have your email address to reply to that comment but I would love to go out for a drink! Let me know.

But you can't wear the ring just yet. Maybe after the third date.

I'm a girl with standards after all...