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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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*        = Good, with reservations


**Winner Take All

by T. Davis Bunn

Reviewed 03/03/03.
Doubleday, New York, and Waterbrook Press, Colorado Springs, 2003.  367 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F BUN).

I thought that T. Davis Bunn’s earlier book, Drummer in the Dark, was excellent, so I looked forward to reading another of his thrillers.  Winner Take All was a good book, and it did keep me reading until 1:00 in the morning once I reached the homestretch.

However, I didn’t like this book as well as the earlier one.  The plot was complicated and hard to follow.  Multiple viewpoints right at the beginning were confusing, especially the viewpoint that was a flashback, but we didn’t know whose.  The story was gripping and suspenseful in the middle, if a bit melodramatic.  The part I least liked was a scene toward the end that strongly reminded me of something from a Batman episode.

T. Davis Bunn also writes Christian fiction, and there are some Christians in the story, but that doesn’t stop the book from containing some pretty nasty violence.  The main characters are good, decent people, and once we figure out whose story is being told, we do care about them and cheer their successes. 

The book was partly set in Germany, which I enjoyed.  I also found interesting the setting of the international opera scene.  Apparently, if a divorced parent kidnaps their child and returns home to Germany, German courts will rarely force them to return the child to an American parent, no matter what the American courts have ruled.  Using a real situation, as in Drummer in the Dark made the story that much more interesting.

This is a good book, best read when you’re in the mood for a wild ride.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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