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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Diminished Capacity is the first book in a series by Gregory Urbach, a political and terrorist thriller with a compelling premise: a former US combat medic, John Henry Lawrence, also known as Jack, wakes up on the cold floor of an interrogation room, and gets handcuffed to a table. Then two angry government agents come in to interrogate him, and for the first time he learns that he just shot the president. Of course, he had the gun and there are other clues. But did he really want to kill the president? With no memory of what happened before getting to where he is now, he is no closer to the truth than those interrogating him. But events in the country and the irrefutable evidence compels him to seek a way out. He calls on Army Intelligence to establish a cover story for him, taking responsibility, but will he get that chance?
Gregory Urbach writes well, and the first person narrative feels so real and powerful in this work, pulling readers into the world view of the characters and allowing them to feel the tension in the conflict. There are relevant historical references, like the Second Afghan War, and the author succeeds in showing what veterans go through. The protagonist is a rich character suffering from post-traumatic stress and this aspect of his personality comes across forcefully in the writing, penetrating the different layers of the plot. The setting is well done, leaving readers with vivid images and plunging them in a political atmosphere that mimics contemporary reality.
Diminished Capacity is fast paced and written to keep the reader turning from page to page. The author has the gift of storytelling and knows how to keep readers engaged. I enjoyed the economy of word and the unique phraseology which gives a lyrical feel to the narrative. This is a book I'd gladly recommend to fans of action-packed and hugely entertaining stories with strong political underpinnings.