Invisible Armies


Invisible Armies

Author: Jon Evans

Published: 2006

Genre: Thriller

About Invisible Armies: A woman is framed for drug possession in India.

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Danielle Leaf is in India, studying yoga at an ashram, when a friend asks her to deliver a passport to a woman in a remote area of the country. She agrees but the errand goes horribly wrong when she's stopped and framed for drug possession.

“You can't do this,” she says, her voice so feeble and breathless she is not even sure he hears her. “I'm an American. You can't do this.”

He pays no notice. She wonders dazedly if she should try to run, but she knows she cannot get away from them, and now it is too late anyhow, she is in the back of the Jeep, between two of the men, and the leader has started the engine, they are driving towards the mine complex. No. Not the mine. The Jeep turns and bounces offroad, up the same little track Danielle had intended to follow, the track that was meant to take her to Jayalitha, whose passport Danielle carries. They are not going to the mine, where at least she would find organization, Western management, some kind of accountability. They are taking her somewhere else. Somewhere private, isolated. When she realizes this, her gut clenches into an icy knot. She feels like she is falling from a great height. The word abducted flashes into her mind. Danielle tries to think of something she can do, some means of escape, but it is too late for that. All she can do is sit and wait, heart thudding, her whole body damp with sweat, until they reach their destination and whatever awaits her there.

...from pages 9-10

It's difficult to review this book without spoilers so I'll break it down into the essential elements.

Characters: Danielle was ok although I didn't particularly like her, probably because the poor little rich girl thing doesn't do much for me. Kieran was fascinating: tall, handsome, extremely intelligent, and a hacker. Laurent was interesting right up until he was referred to as "vaguely ape-like".

Note to Evans (and all authors): never ever refer to a man as "vaguely ape-like" unless you intend for him to lose all sex appeal instantly.

Incidentally, Laurent was the only Canadian character in the book. That's not a complaint, only an observation.

Locations: Four countries, none of them Canada (again, not a complaint). It's obvious that Evans is well-travelled and he has a knack for describing locations that made it very easy to visualize places I've never been. His descriptions of India were particularly good. I also appreciated the peek inside DefCon.

Story: Interesting with enough surprises to keep me turning pages. I think it helped too that I didn't read the publisher's blurb beforehand.

Believability: Evans pushed the limits of believability occasionally but I was able to buy into the story for the most part. And I thought he did a good job with the hacker bits.

Writing style: Mostly good although Evans had a tendency to split sentences which bothered me at times.

Overall, I liked Invisible Armies. It was entertaining and fast-paced with constant action, interesting characters, and a good story.

Reviewed by Lynn Bornath from an advance reading copy, courtesy of HarperCollins Canada.

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Essay by Evans on his inspiration for the book.
“When I look for people like that in the stories I read, I find them almost nowhere.”


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Added 13 May 2006.
Updated 28 August 2013.