Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Always Adam’ by Mark Brumby organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I hope that you will check out both the author and the book, as well as the rest of the blogs involved in the tour.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
London-based financial journalist Spencer Beck is obsessed with billionaire biotech prodigy, Adam Reid, orphaned in his mid-teens when his parents died in a tragic murder-suicide in New York City. A shadowy informant with MI5 connections promises Beck unfettered access to the mysterious Reid and introduces him to Daniel Flanagan, a retired Big Apple detective who investigated the deaths of Adam’s mother and father. Spencer’s initial scepticism, fed by the suspicions of the former police officer, turns to excitement when Reid reveals the truth about himself and his altruistic ambitions to protect society from a deadly virus with a powerful vaccine he’s developed. But when Beck’s entire world starts to implode, he discovers Reid harbours a vendetta that, left unchecked, threatens not only his survival but that of an entire species.
Always Adam was a book that intrigued me from the moment that I read the blurb, and yet it is still a book that caught me by surprise in the most unexpected ways.
Brumby is a fantastic writer, but where he really shines through is in the dialogue between the characters because it is so well written that it feels as though you are there listening to the conversation as it happens. The characters are well fleshed out, and each one had a unique voice and viewpoint that brought a different element to the story, and I particularly enjoyed how Flanagan and Spencer played off one another. Spencer, I felt made for a fascinating character and getting to experience everything alongside him really brought him to life. However, it was the character of Adam – both the one that we got to experience through the beginning and middle, through information and the viewpoint of others and then the one that Spencer interacted with – who really caught my attention. There were so many twists and turns around his character, and his part in the story, and while he was unpredictable and certainly not a ‘likeable’ character in most regards, he was fascinating.
The tension and sense of danger were threaded throughout the story, escalating as we got closer and closer to the edge, and Always Adam was one of those books that you can literally breathe in the uncertainty and suspense, and whereas as soon as you think you’ve connected some of the dots, the story twists in ways that you could never predict and yet make perfect sense. Brumby has written a gripping thriller, with twists and turns, and a building sense of suspense that crescendos with an ending, that doesn’t necessarily give you all the answers, but which was perfect how it was. The ending was fraught and unexpected, and my heart was in my throat as we raced towards the finale, and I was left, heart-pounding and yet wonderfully satisfied at the same time.
Always Adam is a book that demands attention because it is clever, relevant and while there are parts that incredibly complex, it is well worth the effort to untangle because this is a story that packs a punch. It is incredibly impactful when read within the context of the current circumstances, and with the questions that it brings to the surface. A gripping book that will consume your thoughts both while you read it and afterwards, and one I would definitely recommend.
About the Author:
A Cambridge economics graduate, Mark Brumby is a vastly experience financial analyst and owner of Langton Capital, an FCA-regulated advisory company specialising in the hospitality and leisure sectors. He is a partner in the Imbiba Partnership, which invests in pub, bar and restaurant start-ups.
Mark wrote Always Adam (originally published as Payback) in 2013. Boomslang is republishing the book in November 2020 as it deserves to reach a wider audience in the current pandemic climate.
“Covid-19 has brought home not just the fragility of human life but the power of vaccines. Very shortly, we hope, a vaccine could physically alter the cell structure of three or four billion people and protect the same number again via herd immunity. But what if a vaccine were misused?”
“In some ways the world has changed but in many ways it remains the same. The ‘facts’ re our existence have not and will not change. But the events of the last few months have brought home the truth that we are only animals and that we are almost as much at risk from novel diseases with high R ratios and significant mortality rates as we have ever been.”
“I tried to take a step back and look at how we got here & what we’re doing. That sounds deep but some 99% of species that have ever existed are extinct, so what makes us so special?”
“Indeed, we’ve very nearly joined the list of ‘used-to-be’ species list on several occasions. Anthropologists believe that the human population at times in our history fell to a total of less than 10,000 individuals worldwide. You could fit them all in a small football ground and it’s more than a 99.99% reduction on the number of people around today.”
“As an author, Covid-19 has moved the goalposts a little. It has made the unbelievable a little more believable. A pandemic, until December of last year was, literally, a fiction.”
Mark Brumby is married with five children and commutes between London and his home in York.
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Always Adam – Mark Brumby (Published by Boomslang Books on 30th November 2020) – **** (4/5)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.