Monday, July 4, 2022

Review: The Treadstone Transgression by Joshua Hood

by Joshua Hood
Release Date: April 5, 2022
2022 G.P. Putnam's Sons
Kindle Edition; 375 Pages
ISBN: 978-0593419793
Audiobook: B097CDSPYD
Gnere: Fiction / Thriller
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars
The most pressing issue on Adam Hayes' mind is planning his son's upcoming 5th birthday party. After years of operating in the world's most dangerous spots for Treadstone, he's ready to call it quits, but the feeling isn't mutual.
 Levi Shaw, Treadstone's director, calls Hayes back for one more mission. It's a walk in the park. You don't even have to go in with the strike team. I just need you to set up the safe house. You'll be home in time to pick up the birthday cake.
 But nothing is ever easy where Treadstone is concerned. When the mission is blown only Hayes is left alive, and everyone, it seems, is determined to correct that oversight.
My Thoughts
The Treadstone Transgression is the next entry in Robert Ludlum's Treadstone series featuring Adam Hayes, and while it was fast-paced and a lot of fun, I don't think it had quite the impact of the first two books.  This one has Adam in Haiti to extract a whistleblower, and naturally, not everything is at it seems and everything goes downhill for Adam the minutes he steps foot on Haitian soil.  There were a few things that did push the envelope and your belief system a bit too much in this one, and I think that's why I didn't quite enjoy it as much as the first two books.
First of all, Adam is a reluctant hero which is why I enjoy his character so much.  His only goal is to be reunited with his wife and child, but the powers-that-be in the government always seem to have other plans for Adam and push his aging body to the limits in one difficult assignment after another.  This fuels his anger so often his missions are full of angst as he drives himself to extremes in order to return home in one piece, both physically and mentally.  
For the most part, the story lines were believable, and although I appreciate the author trying to put a little of the Haitian culture into this book, some of it kind of pushed the limits.  With the masks? Yes, I get that as I know people who lived there, but would most people just stick around when bullets and guns are going off around them? I don't think there are too many places where bystanders would do that.  But I do think some of it was over the top which made it more of a struggle to read for me. 
I do think the plot was the weakest part of this book.  While the author's writing style is engaging and he definitely knows his way around technology and military terminology, I did feel like the some of the suspense that kept me flipping pages in the previous books was missing.  Maybe it was the over-the-top action that threw me out of the story or just some questionable actions, but something was lacking.  My sympathy for Adam did not lessen however, and I felt empathetic towards his situation and the people who keep using him to fight their battles, despite his insistence that he is through with Treadstone.  
The Treadstone Transgression was not the strongest entry in this series, but it was still enjoyable.  The author is knowledgeable, and I was happy when I saw the action was to take place primarily in Haiti as I think the place's struggles need to be more highlighted, something this book definitely does.  However, the overall plot was a bit over the top for me, and while the action was fast-paced, you do have to suspend belief at times and just kind of go with it.  But I am not yet through with this series, and plan to read the next book (The Treadstone Rendition, March 7 2023) in this series as I am invested in Adam and his desire to be with his family.