Choices by Jeff Edwards is intriguing and action-packed from page 1, and keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
At first glance Dan Travers is an ordinary Australian bloke who loves to surf, lives for his family, and has unwittingly been caught up in a web of intrigue involving the Independent Commission Against Corruption. But is his civilian role in the NSW Police Force linked to his past shadowy activities while in the armed forces, or is he simply a pawn in a bigger global game of deception and death?
Choices are made in everyday life, but Dan Travers’ choices have dramatic consequences for everyone he knows and cares about as he becomes enmeshed in a dangerous world of renegades who are fueled by a desire for revenge. Edwards has crafted a fast-paced story featuring credible characters whose paths appear to blur the line between fact and fiction. The Bali bombings in 2001 are a recurring motif throughout the novel and Dan’s time served in Afghanistan in the Australian Army emerges unbidden from the fringes of his consciousness, drifting in and out of focus as he tries to prove his innocence to the reader- or is it to himself?
Edwards carefully balances the explosive tension of espionage and gang warfare against the rock-solid support network of a close-knit Travers family and Dan’s best mates and surfing buddies, Rick and Sam. Humour and pathos are also to be found in the tightly constructed sub-plots which all lead to the denouement of final choices made by Dan and those dear to him.
Edwards weaves a compelling story and skillfully draws complex and interesting characters into a recognizable contemporary Australian setting. Faced with challenges affecting integrity, relationships, technology and global politics Edwards’ characters navigate myriad factors affecting the post-Bali Australian psyche and beyond. Look out for and look forward to a sequel to Choices!
Reviewed by Christine McGuigan
Available from Sid Harta Publishers http://sidharta.com/au/