Book Review: Unknown Unknowns by Adam Bromley

I WAS given the opportunity to review a new e-book, Unknown Unknowns. As the first thriller by Adam Bromley, award-winning producer of TV and radio comedy, it is pretty fast-paced!

The story follows Kat Foster, a feisty British junior diplomat, who is offered a chance to salvage her career (after punching a VIP into a mound of profiteroles – yes, really!). Miss Foster’s mission demands that she travel to an unknown country, one that even Wikipedia can’t help with, to debrief a prisoner claiming to have information regarding the top secret project Pandora.

As Kat sets out on her mission it would appear, unbeknown to her, that not everything is as simple as it seems. The U.S. agent who deployed her seems to know more than he lets on and her employer also finds himself involved. As if this wasn’t enough, the plot is thickened once more by the involvement of Russian militants who will stop at nothing to get to the prisoner.

The book moves quickly but is still easy to read, constantly changing between well thought out and detailed characters. Although, at points, the characters may seem a little unrealistic in their reactions to things, Bromley has a beautiful way of intricately lacing the story with (sometimes dark) humour which brings the characters to life. To me, it seems quite unusual to have a female at the centre of such dangerous and secretive work, especially written by a male author, but it worked. The only thing holding the book back was that, as a reader, I longed to know more about the characters’ backgrounds; the author merely hints at and briefly touches upon seemingly intriguing back stories with every character. Yet it must be said that the characters work wonderfully for the genre and both their interactions and relationships come across well.

Speaking of the genre, I would be reluctant to call the book a thriller reason being that the thrill wasn’t what personally made me enjoy the book, Unknown Unknowns is more of an action story – gritty, adrenaline-fuelled and full of twists. I would recommend the book as a great quick read; it’s not overly-complex, not too deep and flows very well. With it being an e-book, I took pleasure in its accessibility on my mobile phone; it was very easy to pick back up at various points.

If I had any warnings to give (and I’m trying to avoid spoilers!) one would be that readers will be left with questions unanswered and wishing for further explanation. But then it is a book titled Unknown Unknowns, so you have to take this as its charm.

Overall Bromley has created an inventive, compelling and action-packed drama that many thriller/action lovers will enjoy. I could definitely see this kind of story on the big screen, so if that’s something which takes your fancy – give it a go, it won’t take you long.

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