Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Geography of Secrets-Frederick Reuss

A Geography of Secrets
Frederick Reuss
Unbridled, Sep 7 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9781609530006

In Washington, DC, at the Top Secret Defense Intelligence Analysis Center Noel coordinates military actions in Afghanistan. However, a miscalculation leads to the errant bombing of a school. Stunned he blames himself for the deaths of the innocent as he ponders how would he react if his daughter at college in Virginia died due to a bureaucrat’s mistake. Adding to his overwhelming guilt, he has no one he can share his remorse with; not even his family or his supervisors. He ponders quitting as he heads to a security conference in Switzerland because a conscience is a handicap in his line of business.

Ethan the mapmaker has just learned of the top secrets of his father in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and afterward in Europe during the Cold War. He is stunned as his dad seems more like a spy than a diplomat as he had always believed. His revelation started in Switzerland at his dad’s funeral where he met an old friend of his father; a buddy he never knew existed. He hopes to learn more about his father’s espionage work. In Bern, he and Noel meet for the first time as one seeks to close a chapter of his life while the other seeks to open a chapter of his life; both enshrouded in secrecy.

Running on two character driven subplots, Frederick Reuss provides a terrific thriller as the lead pair approach secrets differently but with a similar desire. One has spent a lifetime hiding them but now has a desperate need to reveal them if he is to move on pass the tragic error; while the other has a desperate need to know the secrets his father apparently took to the grave. Written like a horizontal hyperbola with two foci connecting Noel and Ethan, readers will relish the aptly titled A Geography of Secrets.

Harriet Klausner

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