When I saw a request by David Balzarini to review his new book Discretion, I jumped at it. Not because I had read the premise of the story, but I just happened to be between books and something drew me to request to review. How odd, considering this book is about forces beyond our control affecting our everyday life.
If there was a picture on Wikipedia (since the dictionary isn't relevant anymore) for 'conflicted' it would be the cover of this book.
I normally don't read first person stories as I find it difficult to get into the character, it comes across as autobiographical or egotistical to me for some reason. In this instance, it fits the narrative perfectly. It's easier to identify with the storyteller because so much revolves inside his head.
I'm not religious by any means, and you don't have to be to grab ahold of the influences driving this narrative. Religion, while inferred, is not a focal point here. Man's struggle to do what's right when faced with an obfuscated and overwhelming force to do wrong is the underlying theme.
Whether you believe in Angels and Demons, or not, you can appreciate the difficulties involved in being pushed by something you feel is good or right.
Without creating any spoilers, I'll say this is a magnificently written story. It borders on believable, which is what draws you in so far. This is like Stephen King at his (briefest) and best. A gripping read that leaves you thinking, 'well perhaps that could happen' at the end.
It's a story about inner conflict, plain and simple. Love lost, and re-found. Holding on to your ideals in the face of moral collapse. Believing in right, and finding out that it isn't. Evil disguised as beneficial.
It's a page turner, as most good books are, keeping you enthralled with the ambiguity of forces directing the story towards its conclusion.