Book Review: Look Closer, a Political Thriller by Rachel Amphlett

The Bottom Line: A first-rate political thriller that moves at a blistering pace. Talented novelist Rachel Amphlett keeps the outcome in doubt until the very last page.

‘Will, if you’re listening to this, I’m either in danger, or I’m dead. I need you to do something for me. They’ll be looking for you.’

That’s the startling message Rachel Amphlett’s protagonist, Will Fletcher, receives from his girlfriend, Amy. She’s an investigative journalist who just scored an interview with Ian Rossiter, the likely next British Prime Minister.

But the day of the interview, something terrible happens – Rossiter’s motorcade is attacked in an apparent assassination attempt.

The hours and days that follow are a delicious nightmare of intrigue created by a writer at the top of her game. The plot of Look Closer is much like something the late fan-favorite Vince Flynn might have conjured up, but with several key differences, not least of which is the complicated relationship between its protagonist and his girlfriend, Amy.

Amphlett clearly understands how explosive secrecy in relationships can be. “It’s all very hush-hush,” Will complains to a friend asking about Amy’s work. “She wouldn’t even give me any details.” Amphlett expertly leverages that to her advantage as Will struggles to comprehend the events that led up to this moment in time. The fact that we learn about the details of Amy’s work at the same time Will does injects incredible urgency into the story.

Overall, Amphlett keeps backstory to a minimum, keeping the plot moving at all times. It’s safe to say that there’s not a wasted word in the entire book – a characteristic that many fans of the genre are going to appreciate. It’s this solid pacing, along with a clever plot, that will keep readers turning the pages late into the night.

Bella Wright

Bella Wright blogs about books, film and media.

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