Tense, action-packed, and decently executed, The Executive Graveyard is an entertaining crime thriller that had me glued to the pages from start to finish.
Crime thrillers aren't normally my cup of tea, but Mann's tight, smart writing and realistic dialogue kept me locked into the story all the way. Mann successfully crafted a plot was riddled through and through with hints and fake-outs that keep the reader guessing till the end. His characters are well thought-out and their motivations consistent. Mann fashioned a set of bad guys that made my stomach churn and my jaw clench. And his good guys weren't heroes but rather human beings motivated by fear, revenge, guilt, and loyalty. The story is filled with little surprises, good and bad, that kept my mouth watering and me chomping at the bit to see where the plot would hurl me next. The close third-person gets to be a tad jarring in some places where the action picks up and the POV bounces back and forth between several characters. But the text is formatted in such a way that this is executed cleanly and with little confusion. The book's tone is consistent and Mann's fast-paced writing style carries readers along for an exciting, satisfying ride.
I am always impressed when I can sit back and enjoy a book that I can tell was well-researched beforehand. This is one of those books. Mann gives insight in his acknowledgements at the end of the book into just how much time he put into ensuring every detail of his story would be accurate and add up. He succeeded and his work is paying off.
As a professional editor, I couldn't help but pick up on a smattering of minor errors that could have and should have been cleaned up by an editor. There are readers out there who couldn't care less. But there will always be those that do and that will be
distracted, even if ever so slightly, from a story that should have otherwise flowed smoothly from cover to cover. That being said, Mann is a new author and I'll be happy to cut him a break and applaud his efforts. I hope he finds the time and motivation to further exercise his writing chops in the near future. I'll be back for more if he does.
I've not had the chance to meet with Mann in person, if I ever do, I know I would enthusiastically pepper him with questions regarding the physical and mental adventure that was the making of this story.
Overall, I definitely recommend this read to anyone with a taste for crime/mystery/suspense/thrillers. I have purposefully avoided spoiling the details of the story so you can go enjoy it for yourself. It is one heck of a ride, I can assure you!
Mann's book can be purchased here.