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Big If

by Mark Costello

If you want a book with a strong plot line that keeps you turning the pages, then this isn't the book for you. Instead, it meanders through the lives and characters of a disparate group of people, providing plenty of insight into contemporary American culture. The writing and characterisation are excellent, but you'll need patience to let this unconventional book draw you into its world. You'll either love it or hate it - some people will find it witty and perceptive, others might find it cold and unengaging. See what you think!

Extract

She was twenty-five years old, a single woman living in New Jersey, working for the Secret Service in New York, Criminal Division, Treasury Enforcement. Her squad did counter-counterfeiting, though, as a trainee agent, she did everything, the scutwork of the station, long rolling tails, prisoner transport, petty counterfeiting stings, cloned cell phones, fake ID, routine death-threat follow up, interview a madman, finalize the time sheets, memo to the file, hot dogs in the street. She as a private in the infantry of fed-dom, a GS-5, one civil service notch above a common letter carrier, which was probably closer to the glamour level of her job.

Parallels

Underworld by Don DeLillo
Vineland by Thomas Pynchon
 

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