The Seed of Corruption

Fiction - Thriller - Conspiracy
456 Pages
Reviewed on 06/30/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

A.I. Fabler is the pen name of a New Zealand-born author who has spent a large part of his working life in London, New York and Sydney, initially in journalism and advertising, holding senior international corporate roles before turning to writing full time. His political satire, “Agenda 2060: The Future as It Happens” was published in 2021, described by Kirkus Reviews as ‘A laser-focused, irresistible lampoon of woke culture’. It was the winner of the 2022 Indie Reader Discovery Award for Popular Fiction. His new book, "The Seed of Corruption”, set in Vietnam during the 2004 SARS epidemic in that country is a suspenseful romantic thriller focused on Big Pharma and state corruption. He is the recipient of a number of screenwriting awards, including the NY Empire Award for Drama in 2017 and the 2017 Cannes Drama Award.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Seed of Corruption: A Novel by A.I. Fabler is an action-packed conspiracy thriller with two powerful protagonists. Anton Faraday is a British wildlife painter who loves nature and wants to capture and beautify it in his art. However, things turn bad when someone makes a copy of one of his best paintings and makes money from it. Angry and desperate for answers, Anton packs his bags and travels to Vietnam to find the culprit. There he meets the pretty and fierce Caroline Brinkley, a freelance journalist on the hunt for her adoptive brother and a breakthrough story. They decide to travel together without knowing the SARS epidemic is ready to strike and make life hell for everyone in the country. Now, Anton and Caroline have to find what they are looking for, survive the epidemic, and come out of this ordeal in one piece. Seems impossible, right?

The suspense is alive in The Seed of Corruption. Author A.I. Fabler is a magician with words and storytelling. Some twists and turns make the story more entertaining, the dialogues are refreshing, and the character development is on point. There is not a moment where the reader is confused. The plot is intricate, intense, and packed full of action. You can feel when Anton is lost and feeling the pressure of being overwhelmed by his surroundings. The descriptions are evocative and vivid enough to make you feel like you are right next to Caroline and Anton. The two work together very well and make the perfect sleuth duo. The themes of art theft and missing family members run in the background as Anton and Caroline grow and develop. You can tell Fabler did a lot of research on the SARS epidemic in Vietnam and its surrounding countries and that enhances the reading experience. Loved it!

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Seed of Corruption by A.I. Fabler is a conspiracy thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Anton Faraday is a wildlife painter in Vietnam to hunt down the person forging his work. Caroline Brinkley is a freelance journalist, working at a hotel in Vietnam while she searches for her adopted brother. The day they meet is the day it all begins. Attracted to one another, they decide to travel to the Northern Highlands together, unprepared for what they are about to face. It’s 2004 and SARS is rife in the remote region, fueling fear and death. As they journey, their pasts collide, pushing them forward as they stumble over a conspiracy they cannot comprehend. Drug companies and corrupt charities clash in a thrilling story of morality and ethics. Can love truly conquer all?

The Seed of Corruption by A. I. Fabler is a fantastic story that will hold your attention all the way through. Set against a backdrop of Vietnamese history and culture, this story will draw you in from the start, taking you on a journey from the stifling Mekong Delta to the remote outreaches, from fishing for Snakehead fish to trying to survive an epidemic while facing down corruption of the highest order. With action on every page, this is about more than just a simple romance. This is about searching for the truth, whatever that may be, about morals and ethics and you will feel every emotion as it plays out on the pages in front of you. If you want something different to read, something that will stay with you long after you have read it, this is the book for you.

K.C. Finn

The Seed of Corruption is a work of fiction in the thriller, conspiracy, and action subgenres. It is intended for the adult reading audience and was penned by author A. I. Fabler. Set in 2004, the plot sees two disparate figures come together in Vietnam for an unlikely alliance after dallying with the idea of romance. As one searches for her adoptive Vietnamese brother and the other hunts down a forger who is plagiarising his work as a wildlife painter, the pair discovers the history, culture, and strength of the nation of Vietnam as the Northern Highlands of Vietnam region is suddenly plagued by an outbreak of the deadly SARS virus. So begins a journey of corruption and destruction that could be a young journalist’s scoop of a lifetime.

Author A. I. Fabler does a spectacular job of delivering a gorgeously layered, rich, and exciting work that will appeal to fans of many different genres because of its different but highly compatible influences. I particularly enjoyed the cinematic atmosphere of the prose, which served to bring the sights, scents, sounds, and emotions of Vietnam to life during some very trying times indeed. With the current state of the world, setting this novel during a virus outbreak made it a very apt and relatable read indeed, and I also enjoyed how the central protagonists were put to the test, with such bizarre circumstances and being caught so far from what they usually know. Overall, The Seed of Corruption is an absolutely thrilling read that I would certainly recommend to readers one and all.

Chris Canning

A Pandemic, Stolen Art, and a Search For Good
By Michael Ferry |August 23rd, 2022 |Booktrib


“In mankind’s competition between good and evil, I don’t yet have the courage to declare a winner.” A.I. Fabler pronounces this inconclusive accounting of humanity in the introduction to his revelatory conspiracy thriller, The Seed of Corruption. This contemporary suspense thriller, rooted in on-the-ground research and current events, unfolds in Vietnam at the onset and impending outbreak of a suspicious avian virus. 
This becomes the backdrop for an artist who combs through the southeast Asian countryside in search of stolen artwork and becomes entangled in the dubious plans of a mysterious organization with immeasurable power. Resonating with the hardships of the recent global pandemic, The Seed of Corruption explores a complex world of large corporations and state-sponsored entities who are able to operate in plain sight, no matter how questionable their intent, while average citizens are distracted by the greater implications of a viral pandemic.
The recipient of a large endowment from a mysterious benefactor, Anton Faraday traces a counterfeit painting all the way to Vietnam where he hopes to uncover the source of the unauthorized replication. Faraday’s search along the Mekong River Delta takes him to remote reaches of the country, far beyond the boundaries of the typical tourist zones. While there, he learns of the suspicious operations overseen by his sponsor, The Paladin Foundation for the Environment, one of several Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) active in the region under the pretext of international aid. 
A particularly interesting and noteworthy aspect of this book is the central importance of the setting. The main character travels from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An and Hue, then later explores Sapa on the northern border of the country, among other locations. 
Each location is rendered in fantastic detail to effectively draw the reader into the story. Beyond just providing a setting for the novel, the geography and history of Vietnam play a vital role in this tale; it is a land of intense foreign interest, and decades of conflict, deceit, manipulation, and war driven by complicated motivating factors. Did the United States go to war in Vietnam strictly for the benevolent reason of protecting innocent civilians, or were there additional reasons for their involvement? Taking a closer look at a few points in the history of the country helps to explain Faraday’s observation of a “haunted spirit of Vietnam… not just a product of his imagination, but a palpable presence.” 
Faraday’s story includes references to the troubled geopolitical history of the region and complex interventions from outside forces over the course of the past six decades. There are also meaningful reflections on contemporary film and art throughout this tale, including several locations from the groundbreaking Apocalypse Now as Faraday comes to a similar realization of the true motives behind the immense forces at work around him. 
The Seed of Corruption is a story within a story, based on startling real-life encounters and incidents from the author’s own travels in the region. As Faraday approaches the initial goal of his journey to Vietnam, it becomes apparent that the government agencies and multinational NGOs operating in Northern Vietnam are hiding a sinister motive. A secret with ominous implications lies at the core of this book. 
The reader is made aware of underreported facts and clandestine organizations related to the bird flu pandemic, which crippled much of Asia fifteen years ago. These ripples of truth from the past have undeniable implications on the 2020 viral outbreak that has devastated every country and economy around the globe for the past two years. 
A sophisticated tale of conspiracy and search for truth, The Seed of Corruption offers modern intrigue as well as a classic storyline that brings to mind Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. In the question of good and evil, author A.I. Fabler provides examples of both: the avarice of man as well as the courage of those who seek the truth in the face of tremendous opposition. 
Readers will be left pondering the question, posed by the main character of this novel: “When you know something is wrong, do you ignore it and hope it goes away, or do you look for the evidence, no matter how difficult, embarrassing, or dangerous that might be?” While the novel makes it abundantly clear the lengths both Fabler and Faraday would go to reveal the truth, The Seed of Corruption challenges the reader to consider their personal convictions and how far they, too, would be willing to go.