MV Times Reviews Xoc

From the review of Xoc – The White Shark Murders

MV Times,1.27.14, Matt Pelikan

“…you’ll find all the furnishings you expect in a thriller: thick-skulled thugs, weapons, and electronic gizmos abound. The women are mostly beautiful and hot to trot; the men, mostly tough and either conflicted but good-hearted, or utterly depraved. The protagonist, though, is a notable exception to the book’s rather conventional characterization: Sam, a likeable war criminal, is complex and believably human, and his first-person narration supplies an engaging voice and perspective.

“The final chapters of this book kept me up past bedtime, and the twists aren’t quite over when you think they are.

“Interestingly, though, it wasn’t the Vineyard lore, the eco-activism, or the thriller elements that stuck with me most as I put the book down. While delivering on expectations for a fun read, Mr. West explores a serious human theme, and explores it quite thoughtfully. What is trust? How can we tell who deserves it, and how can we regain the capacity to trust when life has whacked it out of us?

“Mr. West set a stiff challenge for himself with Xoc, and he acquits himself honorably. If you’re a fan of thrillers, or of novels set on the Vineyard, this book is worth a read. You might even learn a little about sharks — or humans.”

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