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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Trust No one

I picked up Paul Eddy’s debut thriller, Flint, because the cover had a girl with a gun. I’ve gotten wrapped up in Fox’s 24, and so I was looking for something slick, fast-paced and pulpy, and Flint is packaged squarely in that genre.

Enter Grace Flint, slightly unstable Inspector of the New Scotland Yard. A simple undercover operation turns into a blood bath, where her partner is killed and she is beaten into nearly the same state. The suspect, Frank Harling, escapes and the three years Grace has spent in convalescence, plastic surgery, and slowly working her way back into the enforcement game have been colored by fantasies of revenge: good fiction since Hamlet.

As a character, Flint is the most interesting aspect of the book. A troubled past stemming from the unexplained disappearance and probable murder of her mother, (fodder for a sequel) led her to more therapists than you can count on one hand, leaving her with a solid mixture of good and bad advice on handling herself. On only good intentions, she continuously insinuates herself into the most risky situations. It is half death-wish, and half searching for opportunity to act without conscience. She tends to deliberately close off all avenues of escape, and when backed into a corner, she can vent her rage and be justified. These moments are always confused recognitions of her own multiple motives; that she’s been plotting the exact opposite of what she’s been telling herself.

While Flint’s character is fascinating to watch, her conspiratorial antagonists are less stellar. Her personal demon, Harling’s, name comes up during a bust, while she’s working as a liaison in Miami. She manages to uncover his whereabouts, and finds that the intelligence community has been protecting him, and had sold her out during the earlier encounter. He is one player in a criminal syndicate hatched by two higher ups in NATO.

Now, I’ve seen CIA conspiracies, FBI conspiracies, the mob, aliens, and international black-ops; even NASA and FEMA aren’t beyond the free world, they pose a sufficient impediment to keep the main story of Flint’s chase for Harling moving. In fact, the whole book is kind of an antithesis to the whole James-Bondy style of intrigue. The motives are all more realistic: Money, revenge, lacking the more overarching goals of the usual off-the-book organizations and seekers of glory. Eddy spent twenty-five years as a journalist, sleuthing mainly for the London Sunday Times, prior to penning. The uncoordinated, slapdash view of even the most powerful conspiracies and the best of operatives being a succession of hopeful improvisations, may be the deepest insight he imported.