Head Game

Head Game

3.6 3
by Tim Downs

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Someone wants you dead. But he doesn't want to kill you . . . He wants you to do it for him.See more details below


Someone wants you dead. But he doesn't want to kill you . . . He wants you to do it for him.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
During the Gulf War, three men served together in psy ops, writing and disseminating highly successful propaganda to convince Iraqi soldiers to lay down their arms without resistance. Over a decade later, one such Iraqi is out for revenge, using more covert tactics of psychological warfare against the three Americans who he believes ruined his life. One by one, he manipulates these men's environments so that each will lose hope and feel entirely isolated by despair. Downs's Christian psychological thriller is a mixed bag; some elements, like the riveting comic-cum-suicide note that opens the story, are fresh and powerful. On the other hand, certain stock characters-the suffering widower (whose lovely wife was cut down, of course, by a drunk driver); the slick and stylized Middle Eastern terrorist; the heart-of-gold prostitute-are purely standard fare. A stunning plot twist at story's end goes a long way toward erasing the formulaic feel of the novel's characterizations, however. Even though there are a few unresolved plot threads and the novel is missing the quirky humor that marked some of Downs's earlier efforts (Shoofly Pie; Chop Shop), the pacing is strong, the story suspenseful and the Southern backdrop skillfully realized. (Jan. 9) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

Gulf War comrades Cale, Pug, and Kirby are being toyed with by an enemy seeking revenge for something that happened 15 years ago. This psychological thriller works toward a suspenseful conclusion, with a dramatic twist. Downs lives in North Carolina.

—Tamara Butler Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

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Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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He held the two-ply bristol board up to the light and carefully studied the final page of his drawings. A few pencil lines still showed through the ink; he took an art gum eraser and began to lighten them, carefully rubbing outward toward the edges of the paper--but he stopped. What difference does it make? he thought. The pages weren't for reproduction anyway--only the originals mattered, and only a couple of people would ever see them. But he was an artist to the end, and the pursuit of perfection was so deeply ingrained in him that it was almost an obsession--so he returned to his work, gently blowing off the eraser shavings with a can of compressed air.

Spreading the pages across his drawing board, he studied the work as a whole. He reviewed the layout, the frame design, and the narrative flow--that was the most important part. He looked at the work with a fresh eye, trying to pretend that he had never seen it before. Was it clear that the opening scene took place in his own apartment? Were the various settings in the city recognizable? Was the flow of action clear and unmistakable? And most important of all: Was the central character recognizable? Had he made the likeness strong enough? Would the viewer know at a glance that the man in the story was him?

Nodding with satisfaction, he gathered the drawings into a stack. It was a nice piece of work all in all, one of his best--and it only seemed fitting. His editors would have been proud of the drawings; too bad he'd never have a chance to show them. He found himself wishing that the NYPD detective who found them might turn out to be a comics buff, someone who could appreciate them. But then, that wasn't really important either. There was only one thing that really mattered; there was only one person on earth who really had to see the drawings, and even he didn't have to appreciate them--he only had to understand them, because his life depended on it.

The only thing left to do was to find a place in the apartment to leave the drawings where they were sure to be discovered. Then everything would be ready; then it would be finished.

He looked around the room for the last time.

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