The Asset by Alan Petersen is a James Bondesque spy thriller full of action and the ever popular conflicted romance. Don't get the wrong idea by that statement though as this book is very much its own beast. The author puts his own spin on the story and shows the reader an extensive knowledge of Latin American culture, even throwing in some spanish dialouge to give it that latin "feel."
The main character Pete Maddox is a CIA operative stationed in Venezuala. As the book progresses he uncovers secrets hidden in the jungle that send this novel spiraling into a non-stop adventure. Torn between what feels right, and what he knows to be right, the reader can't help but sympathize and hope for the best.
This book is elegantly written and if you are into books of this type then you will not be disappointed by The Asset. From the first chapter the reader is quickly sucked into the story. You won't want to put this book down because you will want to know what is going to happen next.
In regards to character development, the author does an outstanding job. There aren't too many characters who are just thrown in with no explanation as to who they are. They are clearly identified and all have a story behind them which gives the book a human touch.
Things start to slow down towards the end a bit, something I wish weren't the case as I like books that tend to end on a cliff hanger and make you imagine what happens later on rather than wind down. The only issue I found with the book was that from time to time it jumped around too abrubtly and for some could cause some confusion. It also appeared some chapters could have been split into two, but these really are just minor things.
All in all, I was extremely impressed and would highly recommend this title to anyone. I definately look forward to any future titles by Mr. Petersen.