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Friday, September 2, 2011

Conflicting Emotions

I got introduced to Jack Higgins a few weeks ago at a friend's place during one of those periods when visiting and one is left by oneself. To take care of those kinds of period I am almost never without something to read, and so it was on that day. I had my own book, but I was drawn irresistibly to the array of books on my friend's table. After looking through everything, I decided to find out what Mr Jack Higgins had to offer. On the very first page of the book titled Eye of the Storm, Jack Higgins introduced me to Sean Dillon. Now, Sean Dillon is supposed to be a political mercenary of sort, ready to the job if he felt the job was right and the money equally if not more so. Sean Dillon, according to Jack Higgins, is a small Irish man with an extra-ordinary ability for altering his appearance without too much, he could speak different languages like the natives of those languages however with a weakness for a particular type of wine (Krug) and a perhaps unconscious penchant for whistling a particular (Irish) tune. One thing stood Dillon out from all other hit men, he had an extra-ordinary success rate, and the international intelligence community had been looking for him without success for over 20 years! He was, well-nigh invincible.
Actually, Higgins introduced me to two main character; Sean Dillon already mentioned, and Martin Brosnan, both of them quite remarkable, each aware of the other's existence, one supposedly a bad guy (when I was younger, we used to refer to the bad guys in films as the "boss" while the good guy is the "actor"), while the other (Martin Brosnan), a hitherto-not-so-good guy turned quite-good guy. The authorities had to enlist the help of Brosnan to apprehend Dillon, and he almost succeeded too! But I am getting quite ahead of myself. What makes Eye of the Storm so remarkable and thus worth sharing with everyone is not so much the story it tells, quite good as it is, it is actually the emotions the story as it unfolded elicited in me. Like I said earlier, The author of the book introduced me to well, the not-so-good-guy Dillon on the first page, and either he forgot to portray Dillon as the bad guy that he is supposed to be, or, more accurately, he also must have a secret admiration and thus have a sort of love-hate feeling/relationship for/with Dillon. And so because of the author's oversight or deliberate decision not to let the readers see Dillon as he is really supposed to be, I kind of started a sort of relationship with him, I of course was aware that he had been contracted by some (hateful) people to carry out some really horrible task (blowing up Margaret Thatcher or any other person equivalent to her in the Western world), but rather than hate Dillon for accepting to do such a horrible thing, I rather invested my hatred for the people that contracted him to do the job while praying that he should fail at the job but SHOULD NOT get caught in the process of doing the job! I got introduced to Martin Brosnan on the 55th page of the book. I of course took a liking to him immediately though his had been sought for the capture of Sean Dillon and he had vowed that this time, Dillon would not get away. Now I was interested in who would prevail out of the two men and guess what? I was actually rooting for both men! At the end of it all, Dillon almost succeeded in his task (thank God he didn't, I would have hated him for sure!), in-between that time, he behaved so unfeelingly towards a member of is family that helped, in fact, killing the poor old man in the process (I swear I surely hated him at that time and almost prayed that he got caught!). As for Brosnan, he also almost succeeded in his task of finally stopping Dillon permanently. I in fact thought he had succeeded when Dillon was shot twice in the chest and "died". At that time, I was very disappointed at how easily Dillon had died. I mean, this is SEAN DILLON we are talking about! He shouldn't just die like any and every other mere mortal! or should he? I was terribly disappointed I tell you, though I was grudgingly happy for Brosnan, he appeared to be the better man or else he wouldn't have won now, or would he? Well, Higgins proved his soft spot for Dillon once again when Dillon resurrected! As it happened, he had on velcro bullet proof vest all the while, and it surely helped that he had been shot in the part of his body that was protected by the vest. I was happy again! What shocked me most was the fact that I could be on the good side as well as on the side of someone that could be termed to be a terrorist! How could I? I am always on the side of the good people! But I think, Higgins was very unfair to me, he had written the story in such a way that whilst not approving of what Dillon had been contracted to do, I almost approved of Dillon himself as a man and did not want him to get caught. I prayed (God help me!) for his survival (can you just imagine that!). I was sad when it appeared he had been killed and was happy when it turned out he didn't die after all. As for Higgins, he not only tells a good story, he knows how to tell it too. This is very important to me because the telling is just as important as the story. And I suspect, that for Jack Higgins and I are, Eye of the Storm is going to be the start of a long and very interesting relationship!