Midwest Book Review
by Diane Donovan
Solid Oil pairs a cast of unlikely characters in an international plot that centers on oil, rainforests, the rare commodity lithium, a female U.S. president who works with a secret agent to make her hidden agenda come true, and more. With all these precious elements interacting, it's inevitable: an explosion of complicated subplots and plots that draw in readers with seemingly simple beginnings that turn into paths of twisted intentions and interactions.
Against the backdrop of murder and corruption are hearts of steel, and central to all the subplots is agent and chess player Andrei Kutuzov, whose interactions with the rich and corrupt have yet to change his own intentions in a dangerous game.
Solid Oil holds about every element of intrigue you could hope for in a thriller, from the threat of a futuristic weapon to romance, an international resource, high-level concerns about bringing criminals to justice, and much more.
At each step new characters enter the picture, slowly building a cast of believable individuals, each powered by their own motivations and (often) their own greed. From wider issues of government involvements and justice to mob actions and love lost to the lure of political office and power, Solid Oil at first seems a tangled mire of emotions and political intent.
But as Andrei Kutuzov's mission solidifies, so does the purpose of his love; and she rises to become an unexpected major force in the world, reflecting sweeping changes that will carry her to greater heights than either could imagine.
Solid Oil is political thriller writing at its best. At stake in a game being played with chess-like precision in the world arena is the future not just of major nations like Australia, but countries looking poverty in the eye. The playing field may encompass the entire globe, but the story centers on a developing nation where women are just starting to realize their power, and where one woman in particular (Andrei's love) will fuel revolutionary changes.
Any reader of international intrigue will find Solid Oil contains all the elements of a fast-paced winner, assembling a breathtaking diversity of protagonists and intentions and winding its way to an unexpected, gripping conclusion.