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The Final Reckoning

The Final Reckoning - Sam Bourne Fast paced, intriguing and very well written, The Final Reckoning offers an eye opening account of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Definitely worth a read because of the issues it addresses.

The characters are well rounded, though somewhat predictable. The story itself is quite gripping and the parts which recount the memories of Gershon Matzkin are extremely moving. The adventures of the protagonist, Tom Byrne actually took a back seat because the flashbacks were so well written.

There were a couple of things which disappointed me about the ending. Before talking about them, I'd like to give out a huge SPOILER warning to anyone who's reading this. If you haven't read the book, please don't read the next paragraph.

I don't get why/how the U.N. SG dies at the end. First of all, how does a person go from almost sticking a needle into someone's chest to sticking the same needle into his own neck and that too in exactly the right place to cause his own death? Granted, Tom pushed his arm away. But he never aimed to push his arm away in the direction of his neck. That may be a minor point in the whole scheme of things, but it got me thinking. Was it really necessary that Viren die? It seems to me that by killing Viren, the author is choosing sides on the philosophical issue he himself raised in the book. Did the DIN really have the right to act as judge, jury and executioner?

In addition to being an exciting read, the book raises a philosophical conundrum as well. It gives the readers something to think about long after the book itself has been completed; which is something I did not expect when I set out to read it.

As an aside, from the "thriller" point of view, the proclamation on the front cover, 'Biggest challenger to Dan Brown's crown', raised my expectations a little too much. The book was very good, but I don't think Dan Brown has a lot to worry about if this guy is his biggest challenger.