Review of ‘Skin in the Game’

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Skin in the Game by Tomas Byrne is a taut political thriller that explores a range of topical issues, from government-sanctioned torture to corporate greed and manipulation. Dr. Kate Farrow is a psychiatrist working for an anti-terrorism interrogation facility in Kent, UK. When her boss, Dr. Krug, assigns her to help in the interrogation of ‘Subject 13,’ she soon discovers that things are not what they seemed at first, and finds herself having to decide between her job and her conscience.  Joe Hawkins, a counter-terrorism instructor and former US State Department official, who left government because his sense of justice could not take some of the things his government was doing, gets a strange communication from his estranged brother Sam. Sam is on the run, being accused by his company of consorting with terrorists. What Sam communicates to Joe, though, is that it is his company that is up to no good.

With that as background, Byrne takes the reader on a dizzying journey into the belly of the beast – the beast that is government and industry working hand in glove, not for the ideals of democracy, but for profit and power. The author tells parallel tales that are at first out of temporal sync, and demarked by different chapter numbering (which was not apparent until nearly halfway through the book). While a bit confusing at first, patience is rewarded as the two threads are brought together near the end in an explosive conclusion that will leave you gasping for breath.

A nicely told tale, full of red herrings, false clues, and murky happenings that will keep you entertained from the first page to the last.

I’d love to give this one five stars, but there are a few too many formatting problems, so it only gets four.

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