Cold FBI thriller with tech twist.

The Blurb

Alexandra has just taken charge of her new team, a motley crew of screw-ups at the Arizona Field Office, the latest in a series of forgettable assignments. With a history of rebelling against authority and blunt speaking, she vows to change her ways and make this assignment work.

Within minutes of her taking charge, she is drawn into a bank robbery case. She leads her new team to catch the robbers but discovers that there is much more to the case than meets the eye. The very next day three girls go missing. Before they could be trafficked out of the country, she races against time to rescue them. Soon, she begins to realize that all the cases coming her way are mysteriously connected. As she unravels the threads of a massive conspiracy, she discovers that a secret organization with immense power and authority is behind these horrific crimes. Forces within the FBI thwart her every move to discover the truth. Helping her navigate this maze is the shadowy Michael Patterson. But can she trust him? Can she trust anyone? Soon, witnesses disappear, suspects are killed, with her life and the lives of her team in lethal danger. Will she come out of this alive? Will she uncover and expose this cabal? As time starts running out, Alexandra Cassidy has to evade indictment and defy death in a deadly game of cat and mouse. (Goodreads)

matfiction – Yes! I’m reading an ebook.

Spoiler-Free Review

I am usually not a great fan of modern whodunnits or thrillers – I prefer the classic Agatha Christies’. But Mark Ravine’s debut novel The Tech took me pleasantly by surprise. I quite enjoyed the super fast pace of this FBI thriller. It wasn’t too difficult to understand what was going on and the speed of the action kept me interested and increased the speed of the read for me. Wow, that’s a lot of rhyming. This book, even though fits nicely into the ‘thriller’ genre, also contains aspects of drama, romance and sci-fi.

However, the characters seemed somewhat stereotypical to me: from the stubborn leader Alexandra (who predictably seems to have no time for romance but later changes her mind), bossy SAC Ramsey, macho Val, troubled Don, aspiring Nancy, silent John, mysterious Mike and suspicious Shazia. There were so many baddies I cannot attempt to list them. To be honest I cannot actually remember them all. What I found disappointing was that there was little character development over the story, except for maybe Alexandra becoming a little less prickly and serious. Mysterious Mike was the most interesting character in the story. He was one of those ‘morally-grey characters’ (characters who could be a bad guy or a good guy depending on the perspective). The character of Mike and AI Aisha definitely did add depth to the read. One thing I do wish this read had was a later reveal of Mike’s Aisha rather then revealed in literally the second part of the first chapter, it kind’ve gave the big reveal away. Obviously with regards to characters ‘The Tech‘ was more plot-focused, which is okay if it’s really going somewhere. But unfortunately, to break it to you all, this wasn’t really going anywhere.

I spent most of the novel gearing up towards what I thought would be a big finale but was left with a unpredictably predictable ending. I started to wonder if the The Tech was actually a romance disguised as a FBI thriller. However, there was some parts about the book I actually did enjoy such as the foreshadowing, multiple perspectives and the subtle ways Mike led the group on to solve the cases.

While I am talking about this I do have a question to raise. In The Tech Mike leads the group of misfit cops on to solve the case by singing/playing on the radio ‘Ra Ra Rasputin’. However, the writer states, “singing Abba’s Rasputin”. Isn’t it Boney M? I’m sure Abba never wrote Rasputin. It was Boney M isn’t it? That means there’s a mistake that needs to be fixed up in the book. Aside from that mistake which I took rather seriously (sorry about getting really hyped up over that!). I liked how each case led on to another and another and another. Actually to be honest I think the wild goose chase of cases probably was a little to long overall. I don’t believe the final 2 or 3 cases actually gave anything more to the overall plot or helped the characters develop anymore than they could with less cases.

Written in 3rd person Omniscient (all-knowing narrator) The Tech contained multiple character’s motives and thoughts. The writing style was simplistic with a few words favored by the author. Among them was the adjective, ‘cultured’. A very common quote was, “He had a cultured voice.” I mean what does that even mean? The speaker has nice intonation and a way of speaking? Well, because almost everyone was described this way there was not much contrast between characters. Another adjective used heavily by the author was ‘attractive’. Used very often in this sentence, “He was an attractive man with a cultured voice.” There it is again – cultured. By the end of the novel all the characters looked the same in my head. They all had the same looks and voices. The language used in The Tech was not very cultured in my opinion. There was a few weak similes and language features used. In particular the one below – which please anyone, help me understand.

“Other than Flynn pacing around in his house like a teenager who’d missed her period, there was nothing suspicions of note.”

The Tech

Ahh, does anyone get this reference at all? Does it mean Flynn was looking around like he’d missed his class? Why is it a girl that’s missing her period? It’s just so unnecessary and really made me confused rather than made me see exactly what Flynn was pacing like. It actually made me start to associate Flynn with a woman. Yeah – that simile was weird all right!

I would recommend this to political thriller fans and those who like romance along with a thriller. I would cap the age rating at R16 because the violence was sometimes too intense such as the death of Irina Lopitan. I gave this three stars because this read was pretty split down the middle in terms of enjoyment and had parts I enjoyed and parts I wish were different. However, all in all it was a averagely good read that I could see becoming a TV series in the future.

Content Warning: Violence, sometimes intense. Sexual references. Could be triggering for some.
Release Date: February 3rd 2020

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Favorite Character

I would say Alexandra the main character but she was a little irritating at times so I’ll choose mystery man Mike and undercover specialist Gabriella.

Favorite Quote

“Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night…

Poem by William Blake. This barely counts as it is not even from the author of The Tech, Mark Ravine but I did like the way Ravine incorporated it. A cryptic way of hinting towards the culprit.

What’s In A Name?

The Tech is referring to the technician or IT guy of the team – Mike. There is SO much mystery surrounding him as he aids the FBI team to solve cases.

QFTRs

  • Have you read this? What did you think?
  • Are you a fan of political/FBI thrillers?
  • What’s more important for you – character-driven novels or plot-driven novels?

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Tech by Mark Ravine

  1. I’ve read very few political or crime thrillers. I’m not sure why. Maybe because some I have read always have the same kind of characters. The characters almost became caricatures, and there always seemed to be an obsession with contemporary brands (Starbucks being a popular one). It was as if to be a good story, the protagonist had to be steeped in over-the-top consumer culture.

    Oh, and the song Rasputin… as a one-time owner of Boney M on vinyl… I can confirm that it is definitely not Abba.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi exisweb, I agree. I wouldn’t say modern crime thriller’s are my favorite genres either. YES! They do have the same kind of cheesy heroic characters who have their favorite low-fat milk latte at Starbucks or buy things of Craigslist or drive in Ubers. That is a great point. And about the Abba VS Boney M debate, I am glad someone agrees with me. Rasputin was definitely sung by Boney M. I think that Ravine, the author may have had a bout of the Mandela Effect there. ***By the way for all the readers – I am not sponsoring any of the brands listed above ***

    Like

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