Fae Cunningham is a young woman with an unusual background. Ever since a mysterious stranger granted her parents’ request to bring Fae out of a coma years ago, she’s had a nagging feeling that someone or something is following her. While conducting research for a college assignment, Fae’s past demons are brought to the forefront and she soon finds herself the unwilling pawn in a highly controversial and dangerous political scheme.
Author, John Stryder, is clearly an intelligent and accomplished storyteller. His vocabulary is extensive and he spins an interesting web. The New Lease is definitely a new take on the political thriller. There’s plenty of action and suspense to keep readers engaged, although I thought the last chapter of the book went on a bit longer than was necessary.
Several times, I wondered if some of the book’s subject matter and character dialogue was used mainly as a vehicle to voice the author’s opinions on several hot button topics. For instance, a conversation between two of the main characters suddenly turned into a page and half long social commentary, presenting a skewed view of American society: “…she wondered what intractable evils Jonas saw in the U.S. Was it drug trafficking? Or substandard public education? White police officers killing innocent black youths? Then it goes on to throw gun control into the mix: “You’re a nation of gun-toting urban cowboys, addicted to firearms as you might be to opium.” Boy, do I resent it when an entire nation is tossed into one giant pot of narrow-minded dysfunction (particularly my own). I’m honestly not even sure why that dialogue was in there since it seemed off topic and removed from the rest of the book, which was largely about a Hitleresque fanatic who had some wildly extreme views on global society as a whole.
As someone who had no prior knowledge of Tantra and tantric training, I found this somewhat interesting, although I can’t be sure how factually it was portrayed. The author does reference several books on the subject in his acknowledgments, so readers can learn more about it for themselves. However, I would hope that the practice is meant for good instead of evil and that mind manipulation would be frowned upon.
Overall, I’d have to say that if you enjoy political thrillers with a twist, you should appreciate The New Lease. It’s a unique take on the subjects of political conspiracies and world domination.
4 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, JOHN STRYDER:
“I published my first story at the age of seven–it was about the friendship between a boy, a squirrel and a tree–but I have yet to touch those heights again.
I have worked as a travel writer, a copywriter and an editor, but none of it is likely to impress you. But middle age, at the very least, has allowed me to distill a smart, unique story (my first novel, The New Lease) out of the many thought experiments I have conducted over the years.”
I live in India, I’m Italian but I write in English, and I have a PhD in a useless subject.