Broke, single, and wanted by the police, Nick Lassiter discovers the latest blockbuster movie/book is his own unpublished manuscript. Along with a wacky cast of friends, Nick storms New York to confront the prolific and wealthy author. A twisty thrill-ride ensues leading to a confrontation that might set the world on fire.
After a series of unfortunate events, Nick Lassiter seeks solace at the movie theater and discovers the latest blockbuster movie “Subterranean Storm” was taken nearly verbatim from an unpublished manuscript he shopped around to various agents three years prior. Understandably outraged, he and his three eccentric friends decide to confront the best-selling author Cameron Beckett in New York. In an interesting twist, all Nick wants is a simple apology. Of course, this being a thriller that is not the way things go down. After the obvious refusal to admit wrongdoing, Nick and his buddies band together to form the titular avenging force. Along the way, they pick up Nick’s father and CIA Director, Nick’s girlfriend and secret CIA agent, and even Beckett himself to stamp out the wildfire set in motion by a man seeking a simple apology but could very well start the next World War.
At its core, THE SLUSH PILE BRIGADE is a solid thriller. It has clearly defined stakes and goals for the main characters. The dialogue and plot tend to fluctuate between thriller and pulp adventure, which isn’t necessarily bad. It just ends up confusing and convoluting the plot. The action scenes are decently written, the plot twists and turns nicely, and the characters are just fleshed out enough to keep the reader engaged. One fairly large issue is that Nick is not a sympathetic character and his goal seems laughable considering his personality. He’s quick to tussle with his ex-girlfriend’s new lover but wants only an apology for having his one completed novel stolen along with millions in potential revenue. It might have helped to have Nick’s novel creation expanded upon to help provide deeper character motivation for the reader. Overall though, this novel shows promise. As a debut novelist, author Samuel Marquis has acres in which to expand his writing skills for the hinted at series and stand-alone novels to be published. Minor issues like characterization fail to hamper this engrossing debut thriller. Marquis laid the groundwork as a thriller writer with THE SLUSH PILE BRIGADE and hopefully his following novels build up a James Patterson-esque empire.
THE SLUSH PILE BRIGADE is a promising debut from an up-and-coming thriller writer.