H.B. Pattskyn's Reviews > The Trust

The Trust by Shira Anthony
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's review
Jun 05, 2012

really liked it
Read in June, 2012

I genuinely enjoyed The Trust. It doesn't fit neatly into any single genre category, and that I think is one of its strengths.

The Trust, is one part science fiction novel, one part political/espionage mystery, and one part romance. The Trust (the fictional organization for which the book is named) is a government agency working under the auspices of the CIA, whose primary function is to keep tabs on foreign governments and private companies who use (and abuse) biotechnology. When somebody crosses the line between use and abuse, Trust agents move in and “handle the situation”.

The biotechnology in The Trust is what producers/writers for one my favorite television shows (“La Femme Nikita”) described as “ten minutes into the future”—i.e. we don’t have this technology yet, but it’s easy to believe that given a few years, we could. (Heck, it’s not so hard to believe that some of it might already exist, we just don’t know about it yet!) Of course, the only reason that works is that the writing and research are both credible.

No single plot element (mystery/thriller, romance, science fiction) would work without the other two, as all three elements weave together to form a fast paced novel with a tight, well-rounded plot. I was drawn in immediately, wanting to know more. More about the Trust, more about the traitors, and much, much more about not only the main characters, Jake Anders and Trace Michelson, but also the cast of supporting characters (a host of agents and double agents whose loyalties could never quite be trusted).

I loved both Jake Anders (stubborn, loyal almost to a fault, and smart), and Trace Michelson (intelligent, funny and, unfortunately for Jake, also dead. Yes. Dead.)

And yes, it was very strange reading a romance novel that starts out with one of the main characters dead (and we’re not talking zombies, ghosts, or vampires, but genuinely, humanly deceased)—however, fans of Happily Ever After shouldn’t let that dissuade them. Far from it, in fact. I won’t tell you how Ms. Anthony and Ms. Keyes manage to pull it off, other than to say “skillfully”. Anthony and Keyes take readers half way around the world, from familiar places, like Raleigh North Carolina, to a tiny village in Tibet, as Jake follows in Trace’s footsteps to unravel the mystery of the Sim chip—a microchip that is far more than simple artificial intelligence, for it contains all of Trace Michelson’s knowledge and memories.

There were enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, and in places on the edge of my seat, madly reading as fast as I could to find out what happened next. I wanted to know who Jake could trust and who was going to stab him in the back (literally)—and of course, I needed to know how Jake was going to get his happy ending.

About the only technical “problem” I had was that in places the dialog seemed a little stiff. But seriously, if that’s the only thing someone can knock about a book…?

On a personal note, I don’t usually like getting into the heads of the antagonists (I skim read whole chapters of a several of books, because I just didn’t care what the bad guy did in his spare time), but that said, where Anthony and Keyes do take readers out of the protagonists’ heads and into the thoughts of the antagonists, it’s handled well, it's brief, and most importantly, genuinely adds to the story.

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