Maddy's Reviews > BROTHERS KEEPER

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's review
May 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2007-reads
Read in December, 2007

RATING: 3.75

Vince Maguire is an expatriate American journalist who is living in Warsaw and working as a features writer for an English-language paper. Although he's lived there for a decade, he's remained quite unconnected from his family and former life in New York. All that changes when he gets a phone call in the middle of the night from his brother, Teddy, saying that he'll be arriving in Warsaw the following day. When Vince goes to the airport, Teddy is not to be found. Instead, a man by the name of Marty Forlani meets him and tells him that his brother is in trouble. That's an understatement. Vince unwittingly goes along with Marty and ends up in the middle of an assassination attempt, and he looks guilty as hell. When the apartment of his some-time girlfriend, Zuzanna, is blown up, he knows it's time to get out of town.

After putting a few clues together, Vince makes his way to northern Alberta, Canada. He believes that his brother is working for an oil company there. Vince needs to know if he's been set up by his brother or if there's something else going on that would explain the intrigue that has taken over his life. Could he be the victim of his brother's greed? It appears that a group of scientists have uncovered a way to produce oil that is far more efficient and effective than current methods.

Owad excels at building suspense, and the reader is never certain what the truth is. As much as you'd like to believe otherwise, it looks highly likely that Teddy has betrayed his brother. Relying on his skills developed through years of investigative reporting, Vince uncovers the truth, with his heart being broken more than once.

I enjoyed Owad's writing style. He has a deft hand with dialogue, and the narrative progressed at a good pace. The descriptions of life in Poland were well done, and the main characters who associated with Vince really came to life. The "bad guys" were less effectively drawn, particularly two men Vince referred to as "The Tweedles". Although I found the rationale for all of the murderous activity less than engaging, I was quite caught up in Vince's relationships, friend and family alike.
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