The Bezzle by Cory Doctorow

I got an advanced copy of this book from in return for offering an honest review. This book is the sequel to the author’s previous novel Red Team Blues. Like in that book, forensic accountant Marty Hench is the protagonist. And despite the seeming dullness of his career, this book is a thriller that had me from the start.

The plot takes place in the past of the first novel. In other words, this is technically a prequel. He is telling someone about how he came to learn so much about prisons while never having served time in one. The story opens on Catalina Island with Marty repeatedly joining a friend named Scott there for vacations. They come across something odd going on there that propels the plot forward. A driving aspect of the plot is the friendship between Marty and Scott. The relationship is deep and affectionate and one I’ve rarely seen in modern novels—deep male friendship.

The story is even better than in the first book. There was a lag in that one. This book is maybe a little slow to start, but once the initiating action takes place, it takes off. The story does come around to a selfless sacrifice that may be surprising but is completely relatable and realistic. If you enjoyed the first of this series, you owe it to yourself to pick up this one soon.

My rating: 4/5

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