Weston's novel sets a brisk pace
The Backgamnon Syndrome
Reviewed by David Day, Wanganui Chronicle
MYSTERY on mystery. What an intriguing read this has been. Roger Weston's novel is, I hope, the first of many as he sharpens his skills into the genre of psychological thrillers. He weaves into the New Zealand-based tale a sometimes bewildering, quirk change series of events.
Starting with their teenage seaside crush, Cameron and Jocasta are then separated until, decades later, their paths cross in that intriguing world of NZ SSIS (Special Security Intelligence Bureau), The SSIS is dosing in on a massive, sophisticated and brutal drug syndicate.
Throughout the tale Weston keeps up the pacey action, introducing a strange mixture of personalities-people who often turn out to be other than they seem. Then come various meetings and relationships in places in New Zealand where the action takes place. The locations were cities, towns, and ports, many of which I know personally and recognised (Wellesley College and Day's Bay for Instance). Eventually, following several sinister assassinations and the occasional sexual interlude, the once teenage lovers adopt significant disguises and total name and personal history changes for their task. They meet again down Southland way, and find the whole anti-drug traffic exercise rushing to a mad, bloody and surprising conclusion. Aerial sea drops, helicopter and trawler pick-ups with fish "catch" cover (literally) concealing the huge amounts of killer white powder. It all contributes to a nail-biting climax but, Roger, please less secrecy about place names. And could we perhaps have the occasional happy ending. I can easily envisage a fine movie plot, with leads such as the brooding Tim Balm and the evil drug baron, Ian Mune.