Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Eradication Dilemma by William Wilkerson

The Eradication DilemmaWhat if you could help bring about the end of the world trade in cocaine simply by doing nothing and allowing those with the know-how to get on with a job they have already started? What if you are under orders to track those people down and stop them; orders that go against what you have devoted your working life to? DEA Agent Jake MacQuilkin is in exactly that position. Someone has found a way of targeting and killing off the coca plant. While he wants to applaud them he is being told he must hunt down and stop the perpetrators. The total collapse of the economies of a number of South American countries is a distinct possibility and there are international ramifications that can't be ignored. 

The premise of this book is a cracking one, and it was a bit of a surprise to read less about the horrors of addiction and more about the reliance of certain economies and groups of people on the cocaine trade. It made for a refreshing approach, while not seeking to legitimise cocaine. The plot had its fair share of twists as Jake sought to uncover the people behind the plot and the action moved around from country to country as the death of coca crops spread and caused unrest. 

Unfortunately the action moved around too much for my liking. With a shifting point of view too keeping up with where events were happening was a bit of an effort and I felt that with so many characters introduced I didn't really get to know any of them in any depth. I can keep track of a fair number of characters usually, but in this case I just wasn't invested enough to make the effort. Jake should have been a sympathetic character after the loss of his fiancee, and did come over as a good guy battling a real dilemma, but ultimately I wasn't really bothered what happened. Journalist Angela was a character with a lot of potential but again was under-developed. With a bit more background and detail I might have felt differently and been rooting for them more.

This story had a lot going for it but incorporated too much in too little depth. Combined with some passages that didn't read well and the odd typo I'm afraid it didn't live up to expectations.

Format: Kindle, review copy
Publisher: Telemachus Press
My Rating: 2*


Mark Boss said...

This is an interesting premise for a story, and brings in legitimate arguments about legalization, eradication, treatment versus incarceration, etc. The idea definitely made me stop and think.

It's hard to even estimate what percentage of the world economy is made up of the drug trade. I wish people would escape into books instead of drugs.

David M. Brown said...

Great review.

A few years back I saw a very good documentary with Bruce Parry who journeyed down the Amazon and met the men and women who dealt with the coca crops. They were paid peanuts for what was risky work while the final product sold for ridiculous amounts.

This sounds like an interesting premise for a novel. It is sad how big the drug trade is. Other vices such as alcohol and tobacco are massive too of course.

TC said...

It's definitely got some good food for thought, and I liked the contemplation of how something that at first glance seemed great wasn't such a good idea when all the consequences were laid out.