Friday, October 31, 2014

The Delta by Tony Park ****

Sonja Kurtz shot her first terr (terrorist) at age twelve, and is now an assassin and a mercenary, and more lethal than anyone else. Virtually all of the other characters in the novel of global (Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, and mostly southern Africa) violence are men, except for small parts played by Sonja's daughter Emma, and her father's child bride Miriam, and a producer named Cheryl-Ann. Three stereotypical female roles: angry teenage daughter, devoted younger wife, and career bitch.

The Delta by Tony Park is about Sonja. She has the highest body count. She escapes multiple ambushes and double-crosses, usually leaving her attackers dead from explosions, gun fire, or hand-to-hand combat. Truly a Jason Bourne for the 21st century.

This book is thriller with continuous action from one crisis to another. I expect we will hear more about Sonja Kurtz from Australian author Tony Park in the future. The novel ends with the following sequel-demanding scene.
Sonja frowned, "I should have killed the pair of them. ... I don't suppose you kept a gun?"
... [Sam] hefted [the bag] ... Inside was the AK-47, two spare magazines of ammunition and a pair of hand grenades.
"Good," Sonja said, "I feel better already."
Sam sighed, "You're going to love America."
But, this book is not only a thriller. It is also a romance. True to the romance genre, Sonja spends plenty of time either thinking about her relationships, weighing one romantic interest against another, reliving and/or regretting past sexual encounters, and, of course, have new sexual encounters.

While many thriller protagonists might have casual sex, romance protagonists spend those quiet hours that could be used to plan murder and mayhem anticipating and regretting relationships with potential and past partners. Sonja seems to be preoccupied with her relationships, and engaging in casual murder and mayhem.

While Sonja has extreme agency in a fire fight, in relationships she is often the victim.
She had flirted only a little with Roberts, but she hated Martin for making her feel like a whore, and hated herself for falling for his lines every time.
This from the baddest assassin and mercenary in the territory.

I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway on October 1, 2014. I received my copy on October 14, 2014. 

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