Monday, September 17, 2012

SWEAT by Mark Gilleo

Thanks to Partners in Crime Tours, I've just read this new novel by Mark Gilleo and I'm glad to be able to bring it to your attention.  This is a novel with an agenda but it's one that most of us will agree with, and regardless, the plot will have you on the edge of your seat.  The characters are so well drawn that they all seem quite real.

The main character is Jake Patrick.  He'll be on my mind for a long time.  His father had left he and his mother years earlier.  Now Jake has dropped out of grad school for a year to care for his dying mother.  After her death, he's in, to put it mildly, a pickle.  No money, no prospects, lots of bills overdue.  With nowhere else to turn, he requests a summer job from his father, Peter Winthrop, a multimillionaire trader.  Winthrop is also unscrupulous, getting his millions with absolutely no regard for anyone but himself.  The original wheeler-dealer type.  But, he gives his son a job and takes him under his wing with an idea toward grooming him to take over the company someday.

Meanwhile, a powerful Chinese tycoon's son runs a sweatshop on Saipan, a U.S. Territory.  The seamstresses are held prisoner and abused.  Winthrop and U.S. Senator John Day visit there to film an idealized version of the shop and then the bigwigs are treated to dinner and "benefits" with two of the beautiful young seamstresses that evening.  The results of that evening will threaten to bring down both of them.

Jake is definitely the good guy here, and he has a window into what's really going on through his new job and the help of his father's secretary.  He also becomes the target of an assassin from China and due to his investigation into a murder in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown, he is also in danger from that quarter.  The Chinatown subplot is another fascinating glimpse into another culture.  You'll be on pins and needles wondering if Jake will live through all the danger, but you'll also be cheering him on as he tries to do the right thing for the oppressed.

I loved this book.  Now I intend to read Gilleo's debut novel called Love Thy Neighbor.  Mark Gilleo is a real talent I'll be following for sure.

Source:  The Story Plant
Recommended reading


  1. Interesting to read your strong recommendation given a sort of predictable story arc. But I am no one to talk of course since I keep reading Eva Ibbotson. Besides, I suppose there are only so many story arcs to have in the non-sci fi world!

  2. Great review. Thank you. I agree with you, it was an "end of your seat" read. I also read his debut novel, Love Thy Neighbor and was blown away by it. Another page turner!!

  3. It sounds like this book is full of tension!

  4. Not sure I'd like this one, but I can tell you loved it, so I may have to try it:)