Publication Date: January 29, 2014
In Windfall by Colin Dodds, Seth Tatton is an average guy who practices law by day. By night, Seth is a hit man for a super secret organization made up of the 1%. With each hit, the organization’s plans become clearer to Seth and he’s finding himself more entrenched in their plot. What Seth doesn’t realize that there are forces at work within himself eager to use his unique skills but when he’s called upon for a special task, will everything change?
The author, Colin Dodds, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
Seth’s voice within the story is raw. The thing within him rages and controls. There is deep symbolic meaning within the story that I am not sure is meant as a warning or to provide a deeper understanding of the nature of humanity. Dark forces seek Civil War and there rages within Seth a private civil war between this foreign invader and his consciousness. Will the concept of war serving only in one’s own self-interest appeal to this character? The reader may think not, but Seth isn’t always thinking for himself.
Petronius is my favorite character of the piece. He has lived a long time and experienced history and in a lot of ways shaped where humanity has gone and where it’s going and that is very much a high for this special character. He is not infallible. He makes mistakes and recognizes them and in many ways is determined not to make them again. For Petronius, there is power in being and he will make the biggest mark he can. What forces in our daily life could stand in the place of Petronius? The media? Our friends? Who is trying to start a war in our day with hatemongering? Windfall makes you think.
Dolores is an interesting character. She could have easily been written as a stereotype. A loose woman caught up in the high life and willing to do whatever she needs to do if the pay is good enough; she’s someone for whom readers feel sorry. Dolores is not an object of pity. Seth uses her for sex and for other things he needs quite casually and she’s willing to go along because it’s something different and interesting. She has a child and a life away from Dolores the Casino singer and occasional companion for hire. The sense is that life is her touchstone and valuable to her and she’s more than a breathing blow-up doll but an essential addition.
The story line flow of Windfall is action-packed and fairly logical. Our main characters have clear goals and those who don’t have the script aren’t wallowing in the foggy landscape. Smart people compliment the smart and direct narrative in a way that keeps a reader fairly engaged and eager to turn the page to discover the next big move from these compelling leads. Windfall is cleanly written and could easily stand up against the more famous works of the genre.
While I didn’t love Windfall, I did find it quite interesting and well worth reading. Windfall is a semi-finalist for the 2013 Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. Colin Dodds lives in Brooklyn, New York and is the author of several novels including The Last Bad Job, Another Broken Wizard and What Smiled at Him. He is also a Pushcart Prize nominated poet.
If you like thrillers that engage dark humor and are a bit gritty, read an excerpt and buy Windfall by Calvin Dodds on