Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Garbage Sifter by Barry Jones Review

By: Barry Jones
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

*I decided to use the Amazon blurb, rather than the blurb from the back of the paperback I read, since the Amazon blurb is much more accurate.*

This fast-paced thriller ensnares intelligence agents, drug cartel overlords and politicians in a twisted web of deceit and deception.

Camila Sanchez, an Argentinian garbage sifter, finds a partially shredded confidential CIA document among her overnight collection of refuse. This document describes a program to hack into the Argentine Intelligence agencies’ databases, including e-mails, and to glean details of their relationship with the powerful Mexican Gulf cartel.

Camila considers this find as treasure and sells the information to the Argentine Intelligence Secretariat. Armed with this knowledge, the Argentines begin to feed misinformation to the CIA. Crusading antidrug activists are falsely portrayed as being secretly in the pay of the cartel leading to numerous arrest warrants. Information and misinformation flows freely on the corrupted e-mail system but one Gulf Cartel directive surprises both the Argentines and the Americans—ACTIVATE ROSARIO 5.

Rosario 5 proves to be a highly effective sex stimulant that threatens to overwhelm the youth of America and Argentina. “Paradise Parties” mimicking the San Francisco sexual orgies of the past, become commonplace and pervasive. Both societies are deeply threatened. A cooperative effort between the two countries to eradicate the curse ensues.

My Review:
4 stars

I just have to start by saying that the blurb on the back of the paperback I received to review was very different from the one on Amazon. Had I read the above blurb, this story would have made more sense to me when reading it.

However, even though I was a bit confused with the direction the story took due to the blurb I read, I still greatly enjoyed the book. While it started out a bit slow for me in the beginning, by Parts 2 and 3 I couldn't put the book down. This book was a bit unusual in that the author provided a list of characters at the beginning of each part and also provided map illustrations at times, both of which I thought were very helpful, especially since this is basically 3 separate stories expertly interwoven into one big story. I'll admit, if I had read how these elements supposedly fit together before reading the book, I would have been very disbelieving, but the author manages to tie everything together to where it all actually makes sense. Enemies becoming allies, drug cartels bringing down presidential hopefuls...Jones makes it all work, and keeps it interesting. Though there are slow parts, the book mostly lives up to its title of a fast paced thriller. 

On a side note, I also liked the mix of fact and fiction. Factual events and feelings from the time period were included, which I found fascinating since I was a child for most of the 8 year time period of this book, so a lot of the factual events included (especially revolving around the 2000 presidential election and Argentinian life during that time) interested me as well as added context to the book. I usually find that mixing factual and fictitious events doesn't always work well, but Jones manages to not only do so, but he did so in such a way that I had to look up certain parts of his story because I couldn't tell if they were fact or fiction since the fictitious events were so believable.

All in all, while the book did have some slow parts, and was a bit overreaching, I still greatly enjoyed this thriller a lot more than I thought I would going into the story. If you're looking for a new read, I highly recommend giving The Garbage Sifter a look.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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