“The Tech” by Mark Ravine

“Bad News Bears” meets “The Dirty Dozen” on Netflix

It’s interesting when a change happens to the format of something as tried-and-true as the novel. In the case of “The Tech,” we are talking about a book with the plotline, characters, and conflict arc of a NetFlix 8-episode series. In many cases, this kind of experimentation doesn’t work. For “The Tech,” I’m not so sure. Especially if the book is aimed at people in the habit of watching these series.

This is an FBI Procedural. It involves an FBI agent who is saddled with a group of misfits who bumble their way through a series of cases, each one separate in conflict and resolution, like an episode of any cop show on TV. However, there are several overarching conflicts that continue throughout the book, tying it all together. Most of these involve the interpersonal spats that are the staple of every soap opera. The one that stands out is the “tech” himself, who is the lowly System Tech in their office, but who is in contact with a super-AI that has access to everything on the Internet. His problem is to feed this disparate group enough information to solve the crimes without letting on where the clues came from.

The downside of this is that it is certainly aimed at readers of the lowest common denominator. The view of what goes on in an FBI office is straight out of “Days of Our Lives” or the locker room of a high school girls’ sports team that is always losing. Everybody immediately takes an instant dislike to everybody else (especially the main character and her boss) or tries to get into bed with them. Stereotypes abound, and the main source of character traits is not what the character says or does, but what the author tells us about him. In one long, complete, paragraph when the character first shows up.

Rather formulaic writing with some redeeming qualities. Recommended for soap opera and Netflix series fans.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.