“Who You Work For” by Anthony David Mitchell

Don’t expect this to be your normal, everyday action story. The main character, Thomas Moore, is a vigilante who experiences eels swimming up to his brain on the first page of the book. His unseen mentor is merely “Partner,” a Luddite and a career second-story man who took Moore in when no one else would and brought him up to his life of crime. The love of his dreams, likewise a non-character, is simply, “Dearest.” Moore works for someone he never sees, killing off the scum of the Texas underworld. At least, he is told they are scum. He has conversations with funeral homes. That’s right, he talks to the building.

The story really gets going when a man who claims to be Moore’s elusive boss shows up and insists that they complete the next assignment together, and quickly. This method is completely outside Moore’s frame of reference, but money talks. However, several small twists of fate, plus the machinations of this new character, result in Moore being hired as security in the home of the suspicious victim. As in, he is hired to protect the man from himself. I mean from Moore himself. Not a bad plot line, if difficult to explain.

The setting for this external conflict is a small innocent Texas town, but the real conflict is the battle between Good and the Devil, which takes place in the twisted minds of the characters. In this story, there is no dividing line between good and evil, no character who is clean of sin. This novel is the perfect realization of a news article I saw lately by a former CIA operative, the theme being, “Everyone Thinks He’s a Good Guy.”

I really enjoyed this book, although there is a problem with the structure of the story; the main external conflict climaxes rather early. At that point, the internal conflict still needs to be resolved and several loose ends need to be tied up, and the story rather meanders for a while until this is accomplished.

Also, Moore himself is a character who keeps his emotions under tight control, so even though we are in his head for the whole story, he never really touches us like he might if he were to open up a bit.

Recommended for those who like their reading a touch quirky. I would like to give it four stars out of five, but it needs a decent edit.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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