The Controller by Matt Brolly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This, unfortunately, was one of my less favorite books of late. While it did have some bright spots, overall, it was a miss for me.
I liked the overall premise of a secret organization disappearing people around train tracks. I found it plausible and scary and original. I enjoyed the character Samuel Lynch. I wanted him to win. His motivations and actions were realistic and he became a full-fledged person for me.
I did not like the torture scenes, the Rose character, the British slang coming out of Texans mouths, the lack of characterization outside of Lynch, and the innumerable “you don’t want to know” comments that veiled the true motivations and perclivities of the Railroad. The torture scenes may have been benign by some standards, but they came early and were brutal enough. I never connected with Rose, even with her sub-plot, I just felt like she was a flat character. I am pretty sure there are no native Texans who use the word “whilst”, ever. All of the FBI characters ran together in my head and there was never any reason to truly know which one was which. Thank goodness, because I couldn’t. Finally, while trying to find the truth, the answer Lynch got most often was, “it’s too terrible to name, so I am going to let you just wonder”. This reader was frustrated by that response. Not that I want to know about the terrible things people can and will do to one another, but once in a while, it would have been nice to have a horrible act to attach to the character I am supposed to hate.
While I am not likely to recommend this one, I am intersted in reading other books by this author.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my free copy in exchange for an honest review. Sorry this one was not quite up my alley.