The Lesser Evil

Book 5 of The Killing Game Series

Fiction - Literary
290 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

If there’s one thing undeniably true about A. Garrett, writing as The Black Rose, in this fifth book of The Killing Game Series, it’s that she is a master of words. She’s also a master of characterization, and it takes her kind of mastery to keep readers glued to the pages in a novel like The Lesser Evil, which is far more about the people than the plot. And that is exactly what superb literary fiction is; a character, not plot-driven story. Let’s clarify one thing from the start here: don’t pick up The Lesser Evil if you are looking for a relaxing read. It isn’t. In fact, this book will challenge you, make you think, and even question your own values and stance on political, moral and religious issues. In short, this is not a book that will appeal to everyone.

That said, once you begin reading, it’s near impossible to stop. To help readers unfamiliar with The Killing Game Series understand the story that has led to this book, the Black Rose provides a synopsis of the first four books to help readers understand how the protagonist, Ives Andrich, “the second most important man in the world” finds himself in Bavaria searching for his beloved wife, Allina, who drowned. Or did she? The bond and love between Ives and Allina is so strong that, when he is presented with a monumental and rather dangerous challenge by his host, Frederich Stultz, and is promised to be reunited with Allina if he agrees to the terms, his love and need for his wife forces him to accept. From that point on, readers, like Andrich, find themselves questioning everything, suspecting everyone and never feeling sure that anyone can be trusted.

The essence of this story, along with its plot, is revealed bit by bit through lengthy, heady conversations between Stultz and Andrich which take place over a mere three days. Yet, one gets the sense that much has happened, even though plot action is minimal. Does Ives Andrich rise to the challenge and master it? Is what he comes up with acceptable to those who will be affected by his suggested plans? And is the reward he has been promised awarded by the end of the novel? Well, remember, this is a series and as readers close the book, they will already be anticipating book number six. If you visit the author’s page at Amazon, be sure to check out the video updates she has posted. The Black Rose is not only a talented author, but a gifted film-maker and photographer. Her video trailer for The Lesser Evil will give you chills. Brilliant!

Grant Leishman

The Lesser Evil by The Black Rose is a continuation of The Killing Game series, being book five in that series. Ives Andrich, Director of Operations for the FBI, is independently wealthy and considered by many to be a genius in criminal investigation. When Ives’ wife is supposedly murdered, Ives refuses to believe she is dead and investigations show she has been kidnapped by a shadowy neo-Nazi group intent on creating a nation built along the lines of racial purity and common purpose (sound familiar?). The purpose for kidnapping Ives’ wife becomes clear. This New World Order needs Ives’ assistance to help them realise their dream and are holding his wife as a bargaining chip. They draw Ives to a large, private estate in Bavaria, where Ives is certain his wife is being held. Things, though, are not quite what they appeared to be originally and, to secure her release, Ives finds he must help these powerful men in their twisted schemes.

This is not the first of this series from The Black Rose (what a wonderful nom-de-plume) that I have read and I was excited to see where this tale was leading. I was not disappointed with this fast paced and thought provoking narrative. What I really liked was that it wasn’t necessary to have read the previous four books in the series to enjoy The Lesser Evil. While I would recommend reading them in order, the author did a fantastic job of explaining motivations and actions that related to previous books, with small asides in the commentary – excellent. A highlight, for me, in this book was the incredibly detailed and descriptive scene setting by the author. I really felt and recognised the grandeur of the estate Ives was staying on. Similarly, the characters were well drawn and easily identifiable. This particular book dwelt much more on the two main characters, Ives and Herr Schultz, and I enjoyed getting to know them more intimately. This was a wonderful read and I can highly recommend it to anyone who loves spy novels, mysteries, and thrillers. I cannot wait to read the next instalment in these characters’ adventures.

Deborah Lloyd

The Chief of Investigation of the FBI, and a successful businessman, Ives Andrich, and his beautiful wife, Allina Kovar, are now entangled in a complicated plot. Although Allina was presumed dead after an explosion and a possible drowning, Ives never believed it. Ives was led to a large estate named Mittelstädt Lodge, located in a small Bavarian town. The owner of the estate, Herr Frederich Stultz, presented Ives with a proposal. When he completed it, he and Allina would be reunited. Stultz was affiliated with the NWDSO (New World Democratic Socialist Organization), and they needed a plan to create a new country. The Lesser Evil: Book 5 of The Killing Game Series, penned by The Black Rose, weaves a suspenseful tale, replete with complex and nefarious characters.

There are many intriguing aspects to this novel – the family histories of certain characters are intertwined; the motivations of the organization’s members are sometimes unclear; Ives’ proposed plan may or may not be acceptable. These uncertainties are balanced with one major certainty – the love shared by Ives and Allina. Likewise, the heartless decision to stage Allina’s death is balanced by ensuring her safety and comfort while she is held at the estate. The Black Rose is a highly skilled writer, as evidenced in The Lesser Evil: Book 5 of The Killing Game Series. Another feature of this novel is her summary of the previous four books in the series. Although this novel can stand alone with its engaging plot, having the background information is both enlightening and enriching for the reader.