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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mad Dogs by James Grady

An interesting ride, but not told as clearly as it could have been.

Published in 2006

The premise of Mad Dogs is a winner - picture an insane asylum just for spies that have been pushed beyond the breaking point. There are victims of torture, people who have compromised cherished values, lost loved ones in the line of duty or have just seen things that no one should have to see.

Now, imagine that 5 of these patients have a doctor that they love - he pushes them, challenges them and makes progress with them. And, he gets murdered right in the room where they do their "group" time, making it look like one of them had done it.

James Grady
So, this group of misfits decides to flee from the frame job and find the root of the conspiracy that killed their doctor. Each of them resurrects their skills and works together to escape, find clues and follow the scant trail back to the source.

Sounds great, right? Kind of like a hard-edged version of the Michael Keaton comedy The Dream Team (1989)

Well, the follow through does not quite live up to the promise of the basic plot line. Grady sort of skips around from person to person in his narration but does so in a herky-jerky fashion so that the reader is left to guess what is going on from time to time. The over-arching plan and motivation of the villain is fairly underwhelming when it is finally exposed.

However, the "buddy movie" and "road trip" feel of the book and the look into the past lives of these former spies is interesting and overcomes those other problems. It was quite fun watching these characters confront their fears, work together and compensate for each others' weaknesses as they tried to clear their names and avenge their friend.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Mad Dogs.

Reviewed on August 24, 2010.

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