Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: Courier by Terry Irving

"This is a goddamn big story. It'll make those jerks at the Post look like idiots and Watergate look like a cop taking an apple off a fruit stand."

It's 1972. The Watergate scandal has Washington on edge and Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and courier for one of the capital's leading television stations, is trying to get his life back together after his nightmarish ordeal in the war. Racing at breakneck speed through the streets of the capital, he not only intends to be the best courier in the business, he also intends to escape the demons that haunt him. But when Rick picks up film from a news crew interviewing a government worker with a hot story, his life begins to unravel as everyone involved in the story dies within hours of the interview and Rick realizes he is the next target.

Enlisting the aid of friends who have discovered a way to hack into the government's computer databases, and a beautiful young Indian Rights activist, Eva Buffalo Calf, Rick races full throttle through the streets of the nation's capital to stay ahead of his pursuers as he searches for answers. When he discovers the killings have been orchestrated by a rogue CIA agent and his team of assassins, Rick isn't surprised when his road to the truth leads directly to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


It was pretty interesting diving into Courier. I was born in 1980 so I thought that what I was feeling while reading was equal to what Marty McFly would have gone through when he jumped into the DeLorean with Doc Brown. (That was a Back to the Future reference in case you didn't have a fulfilling childhood and have never seen that movie.) Anyhow ... I had no idea that this was how couriers actually operated back then.

Courier gave me what I'm assuming is a fairly accurate accounting of what is going on in D.C. as the whole Watergate scandal explodes into a fiery disaster. I've heard my parents talk about Watergate but I've never done any real reading up on the subject ... since reading Courier, I have actually spent a couple of hours looking stuff up because now I'm super interested.

Courier moves at a pretty fast speed and keeps the reader fully engaged and on the edge of their seat. Now, I've never ridden a motorcycle and I think that people who have will find those parts a little more interesting. I did find myself skimming the parts where it talked about clutches and popping whatever it is that you pop when you drive a stick ... I have no idea how to drive a manual transmission ... so these parts were pretty much written in Chinese for me.

The writing was stellar throughout the entire book. Irving is such an amazing author that I could practically feel the wind blowing through my hair as the main character, Rick Putnam, raced up and down back alleys and busy streets. I'm betting it is spot on considering Terry Irving was a courier in this same historical time-frame. Man, I can only imagine the stories that he has to tell ... come to think of it ... was this one of his stories? How much of this is actually fictional ...

While the book did slow down a little for me about a third of the way through, it picked right back up and I was able to gain back my momentum. All in all, this is a pretty entertaining book and I'm hoping that Irving will have a memoir or something either coming out (or maybe it's already on shelves?) because I know that he must have some awesome stories to tell and I would love to hear them. 

Find Courier here:
About the Author
Author and long-time journalist Terry Irving moved to Washington D.C. in 1973 to kick around for a few weeks and never looked back.

In the nation’s capital, Irving started out riding a classic BMW R60/2 for ABC News during Watergate. Carrying that news film was the beginning of a 40-year career that has included producing Emmy Award-winning television news, writing everything from magazine articles to standup comedy and developing early forms of online media. He has traveled and worked in all 50 states plus parts of Europe, Africa and Asia.

Irving is the winner of four National Emmy Awards, multiple Peabody, DuPont and Telly awards, plus an honor at the Columbus Film Festival. He has produced stories around the world from the fall of the Berlin Wall to Tiananmen Square. He worked as a senior live control room producer at CNN, Fox, ABC and MSNBC. He wrote and edited copy for some of the top anchors and journalists in television news including Ted Koppel, Diane Sawyer, Wolf Blitzer, and Aaron Brown.

Irving is an active member of the International Thriller Writers and the Mystery Writers of America, and serves as a board member of the Foundation for Moral Courage.

Irving is the author of the on-going memoir “On the Road” and the self-help book “The Unemployed Guy’s Guide to Unemployment,” both published in 2012 by Rock Creek Consulting LLC. His debut novel “Courier” releases May 1, 2014 from Exhibit A Books, the crime fiction imprint of Angry Robot Books. It’s the first of several books planned for The Freelancer Series.

Irving and his wife live just outside Washington D.C. because their dog simply refuses to live anywhere else.
Contact Terry Irving here:

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