Terrain

The Hussar Cycle Book 2

Fiction - Literary
288 Pages
Reviewed on 11/02/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Hesse Caplinger has written fiction, essays, profiles, and criticism. His work has appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Magazine, Glasstire, and elsewhere. He is the author of the novels "Equipment" and "Terrain."

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

The second book in The Hussar Cycle Series, Terrain by Hesse Caplinger opens in 1995 when Marek Hussar and his team prepare to move against the RUF with the Kamajors. But Hussar is recalled for the task of escorting Jugun Koma, who is being groomed to become the future minister. Jugun’s brother, General Soloma Koma, wants him to become the Minister of Mineral Rights and has already taken the necessary steps. The story moves forward to 2008 where a Greek actor, Argos Argyros, is given the chance to act in a major docu-drama courtesy of a man who goes by the name of Mr. Lanze. And then there is Freddie Oslo, a Frenchman working for an investment firm in London, who is unaware that he will be used to cover up a conspiracy under the pretext of being sent on a holiday. The lives of these characters will soon intertwine, which will lead to a compounding of repercussions.

Terrain is a bleak outcry against the opportunism that festers in the African region. Hesse Caplinger writes with a stylistic aggressiveness that sustains the tension even in moments when characters are engaged in a discussion. He provides interesting characters that make the point that every step along the way is paved with intrigue, corruption, deceit, and opportunism—themes that you would typically encounter in absorbing thrillers. Here, you will witness three lives that intersect, and there is so much more to it than just intersecting. All of the characters in this story have an incendiary motivation that stirs them to take action in presented situations. I can deconstruct how carefully Caplinger portrays the motives of his characters, but I will leave it up to you to read Terrain and get absorbed in a non-linear world that is gripping and intriguing.

Pikasho Deka

Terrain is the second installment of The Hussar Cycle by Hesse Caplinger. In the year 1995, Marek Hussar and his team under Van Der Boor prepare to move against the RUF with the Kamajors when Hussar is unexpectedly called upon to escort General Soloman Koma's brother, Jugun Koma, a future minister-to-be, and secure his alluvial mines. Fast forward to 2008 when Greek national Argos Argyros, an aspiring actor, is recruited by a mysterious man named Mr. Lanze, who offers him a chance to act in an upcoming docu-drama. Freddie Oslo, a Frenchman working for an investment firm in London, is unceremoniously sent on a holiday by his boss, Simone Helena, to cover up a grand conspiracy that he seems to be unaware of. He finds himself escorted during his enforced holiday by none other than Mr. Lanze.

Terrain is a pulsating thriller filled with suspense and intrigue that keeps you glued to the pages from start to finish. Author Hesse Caplinger maneuvers an intricate plot filled with twists and turns to hook you in and it refuses to let go until the end. The narrative is full of introspective monologues that explore the human condition. This is a character-driven story, and as such, the pacing is deliberately slow. I found the characters rich and filled with contradictions that provide plenty of conflict and agency to their motives. They are complex individuals with multiple layers that make them thoroughly compelling to read. If you enjoy non-linear storytelling and neo-noir thrillers, Terrain is the book for you.