The Breach by Patrick Lee
The First Adventure Begins!
I review very little fiction, and I am really picky about what I do read. My philosophy is, why waste time reading a book that is not potentially great? If I start reading a book, and it turns out to be middling, why continue?
When considering a book to read, I use a simple, time-tested test: I read the first line. If the book doesn't interest me right away, it doesn't get bought.
Well, the first line of The Breach is:
"On the first anniversary of his release from prison, Travis Chase woke at four in the morning to bright sunlight framing his window blinds."
Okay, so far so good. I can tell that the author knows how to draw in the reader. Methinks the author's experience in writing scripts for Hollywood has served him well.
Things only get better from here on in. It's not just that the first line of the book draws the reader in--the entire book does. The Breach is a mix of adventure and science fiction. I guess about 80% adventure, and 20% sci-fi. There are lots of special forces and lots of special bad guys.
I am hard pressed to recall a book that I enjoyed reading so much as The Breach. The book is easy to read, without being "dumbed down" for us American readers. It's a great mix of character development and plot twists. I seriously enjoyed this book--from end to end. It's not so terribly "geeky" that I couldn't understand it.
I have read or reviewed many first time novels, and NONE of them sounded like The Breach. It is simply not possible that The Breach is Patrick Lee's first novel. Not Possible.
I have a theory, however--in fact, several theories as to how this book actually got written. I'm still mulling over the theories, so don't hold me to them yet:
(1) The author's future self, world famous, and living in the Bahamas, sent the younger Patrick a completed manuscript, which is already a NY times best seller in the year 2050;
(2) Patrick Lee really doesn't exist--the author is secretly John Grisham, who wanted to go into a different genre, but his publishers thought it too risky. (I also thought maybe James Patterson, but the author looks more like Grisham.)
(3) One of the artifacts from the Breach is secretly penning these novels.
The plot of The Breach is clever and imaginative. Let's just say that there is a mysterious phenomenon called a "breach." A huge multi-national force is assigned to watch it, and protect it from those who would exploit its power.
Travis Chase, out on a long hike, starts his post-prison adventure when he discovers a jumbo jet 747 crashed. The passengers are dead, of course, but not from the crash. Ever the investigator, Travis soon learns of the breach, and has some personal encounters with some unusual "artifacts" associated with the breach.
Well, until I can prove that someone else is secretly behind this book, I guess we'll all have to give the credit to Patrick Lee. But I won't be surprised if we find out someday that someone sent this book down some time tunnel or worm hole from the future. Okay--maybe it wasn't Patrick himself sending from the future, but I bet John Grisham or one of those Patterson guys had something to with it.