‘At The City’s Edge’ by Marcus Sakey – not enough here to hold my attention

One of the characters in a book I was reading was relaxing with a copy of ‘At The City’s Edge’. I went, ‘Hey, I remember Marcus Sakey. I read his ‘Brilliance’ novel five or six years ago. It was an OK thriller. I’ll give this a go.’

‘At The City’ Edge’ is also an OK thriller, at least what I’ve read of it, but with so many books and so little time, it turns out my tolerance for OK thrillers is now quite low.

I got almost halfway through this book before setting it aside. It was a competently written thriller and it sets out to confront some of the realities of gangs in Chicago but I didn’t find it compelling. 

The main male character, an ex-soldier who decides to take on the gangs and find his brother’s killer all by himself didn’t seem real to me. I wasn’t invested in what happened to him and I suspected that I’d grow to dislike him and be shouting at him to get over himself before the end of the book.

The rest of the characters and the plot felt familiar in a have-I read-this-already? way that was OK but didn’t make me want to know what happened next.

‘At The City’s Edge’ would make an OK movie in of the ’21 Bridges’ type of action movies that Amazon seems to like, although they’d probably have to reshape the main character so he seemed less ‘white boy army reject saves the world’. Or change the gender so that it’s at least a ‘white girl army (no, make that Marine – it’s more badass) rejects saves the world’.

I figure that when I start to make snark remarks at the hero while I’m reading the book, it’s time for me to be reading a different book, so I put this one away.

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