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Always
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George McGuire's Always takes readers on a full-throttle quest through intricate international intrigue, a gut-wrenching abduction, and unexpected love affairs. The winsome protagonist, Jim Devereux, tells the story of how an arms deal gone awry and his daughter's subsequent kidnapping throw him into the role of an unassuming action hero and vigilante detective. The lack of chapter divisions reflects the rapid pace of the novel. The dialogue is crisp and crackles with wit. In Devereaux's pursuit of the shadowy groups that abducted his daughter, he is beset by conflicted attractions, financial temptations, apparent dead-ends. Passions run high, but honor and integrity win the day. Ultimately he finds himself undertaking two quests, one deliberate and one unintentional - one to reunite his family, and one to hold onto the true love he had never expected to find. McGuire's prose gives just enough details to keep the characters vivid, their voices compelling, and their situations gripping. The plot introduces unconventional narrative devices--such as a clairvoyant who helps to track down the villains--but these are used sparingly, to move the plot along rather than as a facile deus ex machina ploy. Credibility remains intact. This is no dry detective fiction; it has a lot of heart. The hero thinks with his emotional instincts as much as with his head. Indeed, the novel could be read as a parable for our times of fraught international relations and individual frustrations in the face of forces beyond our control. Dr. Tyler Fisher Lecturer in Spanish, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages University of Oxford, England
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