Friday, December 19, 2014

Treadmill by Warren Adler | Book Review

(The cover image doesn't make sense until near the very end, and then it's perfect.)

Treadmill is quite the gripping, thrilling read!  The main character, Jack Cooper, is basically on a treadmill in life.  Within just a months' time, he lost his job, his wife, and his mother.  He's now living alone in a small apartment and the only highlight of his day is his time spent at a local gym.  He finds a lot of comfort in his routines, including making sure that he's at the gym at the same time every day, working out alongside all the other regulars who work out at that time.  There is one other guy, Mike Parrish, who is especially important to the routine because they share a trainer and always move from machine to machine side-by-side.  Everything's going alright until the day that Mike doesn't show up at the gym.  For some reason, this hits a funny spot in Jack's gut, and he embarks on a quest to find out what happened to Mike.

I went into Treadmill expecting to like it, because I loved Trans-Siberian Express so much.  So maybe that colored my final impression of Treadmill?  But I make no apologies:  I loved Treadmill just as much as I loved Trans-Siberian Express!  I think my dad might receive both for Christmas now.  And I looked up Warren Adler on, and he has many more books that I can request from my library!

As I said above, Treadmill is quite a thriller.  It's set in DC, and while none of the characters are politicians, the political atmosphere does come into play in the plot.  I love how Warren Adler does his books: they're much more setting-based than character-based, and that's unique.  In this one, the one place that all the characters and plot points keep circling back to is the run-down Bethesda Health Club.  All of the characters work out there.  At the beginning of the book, none of the characters have interacted at all.  You know how it is at the gym:  everyone has in their own earbuds and is totally focused on their own workouts and not so much with the other gym patrons.  But Mike's disappearance acts as a catalyst and suddenly all the characters start interacting.

The reader only gets to see the other gym patrons from Jack's perspective, and he doesn't have much information at first.  This meant that I (the reader) also didn't have much information, which led to an even greater feeling of suspense.  It was a little odd; I didn't feel particularly attached to Jack but I was totally 100% absorbed in the plot and his safety.  He wasn't a bad guy, and I didn't hate him, but I didn't really think I'd be his friend in real life either.

It's hard to write about the book without giving anything away!  I will tell you that there are lies and cover-ups and mystery and political machinations... so much suspense!  I highly recommend that you go out and read this book.  I just informed the hubby that he might need to read it.

*I received my copy of Treadmill from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.  Thank you!

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