(I received a free review copy of this novel from Story Cartel.)
I began this story knowing nothing of what I was getting into. “I’ll be adventurous,” I thought. I’ve never read a mystery thriller like this – the closest I’ve been is with the spy novel, Graham Greene’s The Human Factor, which is pretty different. But The Source was a great story.
An FBI agent’s obsession with his late father’s secret sets him on a collision course with a past he has carefully avoided, shadowy enemies he never suspected, and a most unlikely friendship with an autistic man who sees reality in ways no one else can. Will Jackson Barrett’s determination to unlock secrets his father took to the grave save or ultimately destroy one he only knows as — The Source?
I called t. e. George’s The Source a mystery thriller. There are secrets. There’s action. There is a team of FBI agents. You could term it spiritual fiction – even Christian fiction. There is no mention of Christ and could be considered deistic but it could easily be Christian influenced. That came as a surprise to me, since the blurb and the description said nothing about spirituality. I liked that aspect – but while it wasn’t preachy, it does play a crucial part, so you might want to skip this one if you’d rather not read about such things.
The story is nicely written, albeit with a few typos. The plot was gripping and the mystery had me hooked. What is this source Jackson Barrett is looking for? And how in the world does the savant Manny know so much?
There’s a diverse range of characters, including an autistic savant, a Serbian refugee, and a Korean geek. Let me elaborate on the autistic savant. I trust the author did his research but it did surprise me since autism has always been … less extreme in my mind. Doubtless, some of my friends throw the term about too loosely – I’ve been called ADD, ADHD, “aspie”, and autistic before, when I don’t score on the actual tests. Manny is the savant. He has incredible drawing and number skills. He is a fascinating and sympathetic character and it was an interesting experience learning of him.
I don’t know if it’s just me or I’ve been reading good romance these days, but there’s something so satisfying about seeing a fictional couple get happily together. A mild spoiler? – Jackson and his ex Jennifer get back together. Cue broad smiles.
I liked the protagonist Jackson, as well as the other characters like Jennifer, Hu, and Dr. Sanford. Senka Batik was compelling. The little cultural references were fun to find – it’s not often I read phrases like “penny for your thoughts”. And Jennifer said her father used it so … I think that’s pretty realistic!
This is getting nitpicky but there were a couple of strange anachronisms. For one, there could have been more contractions. And then there’s a scene when someone kisses a friend’s hand. Am I just ahead of the times? Do people still do that?
All in all, the book is a page turner with diverse, likeable characters, a sense of mystery, and a unique premise. The words thriller and spiritual sum it up fine. If that interests you, it’ll be worth your while.