Foreword Reviews

Against the Dusk

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

Against the Dusk is a romantic thriller in which personal motivations clash with government actions on a global stage of wealth and war.

In Brett Andrew Strange’s thriller Against the Dusk, a man falls in love with an intriguing woman whose family involves him in a dangerous mix of business and politics.

Paul, a divorced American veteran with PTSD and bitter feelings about the war in Iraq, falls fast for Katya, who is a natural beauty, loves art, and has a philosophical intellect. What is more difficult is realizing that Katya’s relatives are no ordinary family. Her wealthy uncle, Yuri, is a businessman with global influence; he found a way to thrive when others were barely surviving. He’s somewhat of a mob boss stereotype, but has a loving relationship with his niece. When Katya’s scheming brother, Viktor, puts everyone at risk during an ill-fated meeting, and Paul helps him cover up a murder, he is dragged into a world of Soviet-era drama and government entanglement.

Paul’s contemplations drive the narrative; his guilt around America’s involvement in the Middle East affects his decisions as he gets involved with Katya’s family. Russia, Iraq, Syria, and the US are linked, the book shows, in their history of conflict. Paul struggles with his moral compass as love and fear pull him in different directions—a situation complicated by Katya’s mixed feelings about his involvement with her uncle. Further, helping Katya’s family puts Paul on the US government’s radar; an agent, Jo, leverages her power, convincing Paul and the Russians to get involved with humanitarian efforts, but she has her own secret agenda. A woman who spent her career trying to get to the top, Jo’s singular focus is clear.

While the novel begins with a romance, it evolves into a geopolitical thriller; Katya and Paul’s relationship takes a backseat to the Syrian conflict and Jo’s attempts to further her career while making herself useful to Yuri’s communities. The central plot becomes disperse, and characters are introduced and disposed of with speed.

The story winds back toward Katya and her past to link its various events, but its not entirely effective in doing so. Still, the cast’s shifting loyalties are sources of tense uncertainty, and the main villains are well shrouded in mystery throughout. Questions are left unanswered as the ending lays the groundwork for a sequel, but not before surprise betrayals wreak havoc on the cast’s lives.

Against the Dusk is a romantic thriller in which personal motivations clash with government actions on a global stage of wealth and war.

Reviewed by Delia Stanley

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Load Next Review