Sunday, August 4, 2013

Review: Dukkha: The Suffering

Dukkha: The Suffering
Dukkha: The Suffering by Loren W. Christensen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of thrillers, police procedurals, those interested in martial arts
Trigger Warnings: violence, fighting, killing (murder, execution, accidental), maiming

My Thoughts: Another book (one among many) it has taken me way too long to find the time to read.

This is an ARC, so I will assume it was fixed before it was released, but it doesn't even look like a spellcheck was done on this bad boy, based on things like “laugher” for “laughter”. I also saw some fairly common ones, like “misses” (plural for miss) to indicated a married woman (“missus” or “Mrs.”). I also saw some where Google could have been this guy's friend, like “Calvin Kline” (“Calvin Klein”) and “Jeff Goldbloom” (“Jeff Goldblum”). Even “dukkha” is initially spelled “dukha”. Still, as I said, I was reading an ARC, so let's assume these things are fixed, just to be fair. I mostly mention them because they made me laugh.

Of course, I laughed a lot while I was reading this book. It wasn't that it was a funny book, but there was a lot of humor in it. Like this conversation that Sam has with his boss, Mark.
I stand. “You know that saying 'God never gives you anymore (sic) than you can handle?'”(sic)

Mark moves over to the door and opens it. “Yes.”

“It's a bunch of shit.”
See what I mean? Humor. Of course, it's about a police officer, so there is a lot of dark, cop humor, and then there is Samuel with all his quotes and jokes, like, “If at first you don't succeed, you probably shouldn't be a skydiver.” It's also very obvious that the author has spent a lot of time studying martial arts, and he is obviously diluting his knowledge and ability between Sam and Samuel. I don't know if he plans to make a series of this, but I know I would love to learn more about Samuel, find out what happens next, and if he and Mai ever end up together. And, of course, what happens to Mai's cat, Chíen.

So, yes, despite any issues with the ARC, which should definitely not stop you from trying this book, I would heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller, police procedural, and/or martial-arts thriller. It's a highly entertaining book, and one I enjoyed a lot. Hopefully you will as well

Disclosure: I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: In the course of a single week, everything Sam Reeves believed in, everything he knew, everyone he trusted, all would be put on the line. For a family he never knew he had. 

Detective Sam Reeves, a 34-year-old martial arts instructor, has a solid fifteen-year record as a good police officer with the Portland Police Department. For the first time, Sam is forced to take a life in the line of duty and despite the findings of “good shoot” he struggles to recuperate psychologically from the killing. Facing up to his fears Sam returns to work and then within days is forced to fire his weapon again—killing two more people. 

With his spirit almost broken, Sam meets a stranger … a man who claims to be his father. “Impossible,” Sam reasons—his father died in a North Vietnamese prison camp … a long time ago. This odd man, named Samuel, is as convincing as he is quirky and is revealed to be a phenomenal martial artist, the likes of which Detective Sam Reeves has never encountered. 

This ‘Samuel’ comes out of nowhere, equipped with a family in Vietnam and a daughter named Mai who is about to graduate from Portland State University. With a series of interlocked events of violence: a revenge-seeking uncle, the destruction of his martial arts school, his new father’s connection to some lethal Vietnamese outlaws, Sam’s life spirals into a dreadful new direction. This high-octane martial arts thriller will have you gripped from the start. You’ll never complain about a hard week again.

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