And then I start reading the next book and what’s best seems to once again shift, gently gliding through my fingers.
The Alamo by Mark Dawson is the latest installment in the John Milton thriller series and when I begin to think that the author can’t surprise me anymore, he does it once again.
For those new to the series, John Milton is an ex-assassin working for Group Fifteen, a secret organization in the British government. During his last assignment when he was about to kill in cold blood an innocent child, he got disgusted at what he had become and had to do, and decided to throw in the towel and go away from a job where there is no such thing as walking away from it.
Milton is also a recovering alcoholic who attends regularly AA meetings in the vicinity, without which he knows that he’d be once again losing himself in the mind-numbing guilty pleasure, the hard liquor to forget his past.
Ever since he left his secret job he’s been on the run from his superiors who couldn’t let someone they’ve invested millions in just walk away. That simply doesn’t happen. If they can’t have him, then nobody else should.
But Milton is a chameleon, an expert in hiding, with a ton of unused passports and papers in all sorts of names that he can use at will.
After he’s traveled the world looking for redemption by helping people in need, in this latest episode he’s in a cheap part of Coney Island, Brooklyn, working as a cook for some off-beat restaurant that doesn’t ask for references from previous employers.
One of the guys at the AA meeting talks about his frustration with the bad neighbors that live across his house, a crack-house and whorehouse that threaten the very existence of the neighborhood. They’d even stolen his 13 years old son’s sneakers the other day.
Milton listens to the father’s outpour and decides to help. He visits said establishment and convinces the owners to move house to another area. He also buys the attendee’s son a new pair of expensive sneakers.
The next morning as he does his usual walk, he saves a Russian’s daughter from the sea from a certain death. The Russian, of course, he is forever grateful.
And then there is the football game which is the starting point to a whole new set of problems that now Milton has to fix, because there is simply noone else to do it.
Drug dealers, corrupt cops and John’s need for helping those in need are the main theme of the book. This doesn’t seem like much, but throughout the entire story there is not one chapter that is not exciting, engrossing and full of nail-biting action. You simply can’t stop reading.
I have started the John Milton series about a month ago and it got me hooked so bad that I had to stop reading pretty much everything else I had on my TBR shelf for the moment.
I have seen John grow from a bitter, guilt ridden young lad to the rather middle-aged man he is today. He is not as bitter, but still struggling immensely with his guilt and the difficultly in following the 12 steps of the AA program.
And he’s very lonely.
For someone who has killed over 150 people, he is now a rather good man. Still killing, mind you, but only the scum of the earth and only when there is no other way to keep the people close to him safe.
John Milton is a broken hero and you can’t help feel for him. Should you meet him one day, make sure you’re on his good side and then he’ll protect you with his life.
The author knows how to reel in his readers not only with John Milton and his accidental friends, but also with the very vivid descriptions of the particular settings Milton finds himself at.
The stormy and extremely cold winter in New York makes you feel you’re there, wincing every time you experience that damaging cold in your bones along with the characters.
Having done nothing the last month but read John Milton books, I am now keenly aware that my evenings will be void until a new book in the series is published probably next year. And the way The Alamo ended, we are left with the knowledge that John is already racing to his next adventure in Miami. I can’t wait!