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Exact Revenge    by Tim Green order for
Exact Revenge
by Tim Green
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This engrossing thriller opens with a quote from The Count of Monte Cristo, and is in fact a modern version of that classic. The title encapsulates the advice given to the novel's protagonist by the old-timer he meets in jail - it's the third rule of survival in prison (after 'Never show fear' and 'Never be a rat'). The story grabs you on the first page and doesn't let go - it kept me up reading half the night.

Like Dumas' Edmond Dantes, half Mohawk Raymond White once had it all. A successful lawyer (youngest partner in a prestigious law firm) with a beautiful home and a lovely fiancée named Lexis, he was about to run for Congress. And like Dantes, Raymond is brought down by the envy of others - politician Bob Rangle who lost the nomination to him, police officer Frank Steffano who wants Lexis, and DA Dean Villay who stands to lose a fortune. They frame Raymond for murder, and put him away for life. But, in prison, Raymond meets brilliant, old art thief Lester Cole, who teaches him about survival and offers him a way out.

It's fascinating to watch the rest of the story unfold in both expected and unexpected ways. Raymond (now disguised by plastic surgery and in the role of billionaire Seth Cole) seeks exact revenge, but also helps others whose lives have been devastated by his enemies. As well as renewing old connections, his actions bring a new friend into his life - an Akwesasne Indian named Bert. Exact Revenge is a brilliant read, a thrilling modern Monte Cristo that I hope they make into a movie; I'll be lining up to see it.

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