Publication Date: March 8, 2012
Rex Randall is the author of the highly successful Incognito novels. The secret to their success is that they’re based on Randall’s real-life experiences. In Rex Randall and the Jericho Secret by Vince Carter, Rex and the five women with whom he lives in a polyamorous relationship go undercover with the Secret Service.
The author, Vince Carter, sent me this novel in exchange for my review.
I am a big fan of the Bond films. I’ve seen every one of them. I’ve even seen On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) starring George Lazenby. There are definite parallels that lead a reader to believe that the iconic books by Ian Fleming and subsequent film series inspired Rex Randall and the Jericho Secret. It also seems to have been a bit inspired by “Charlie’s Angels” and a fan-fiction-like relationship between Charlie and his “girls.”
Rex Randall and the Jericho Secret features a massive cast of characters, none of whom are especially fleshed out. With so much going on and so many people doing it, I’d have to think it difficult for the most experienced authors to keep everything straight. Carter manages to keep his story lines from getting muddled. There is a “just the facts, ma’am” sense for a majority of the novel that makes for neat lines, but not so much for a compelling can’t-put-downable read. In addition to the direct information dumps, some of Carter’s narrative is awkwardly written.
At the end of the day, Rex Randall and the Jericho Secret is a very classically constructed spy novel. Voyeuristic in a sense. Carter tells us in the novel that this is a lifestyle men want but to which they can only aspire and isn’t that the magic of fiction? For a person to read a story and place themselves in the narrative? This novel has a market and perhaps I am just not that market. I cringed when Rex spoke with his “women.” The treatment of his five partners in the story is a little baffling. We’re supposed to believe that these women are stunning and whip-smart, but Rex doesn’t talk to them as though they are. The women are but a small portion of the story but one that bothered. I was also bothered by the authors need to show us that Rex is the most awesome person ever to breathe air. Characters who are not so perfect are more interesting but then Rex, for all the focus on him, remains somewhat dependent upon spy stereotypes established. I love Bond, but perhaps its a difference in the choices that lead me to not be so crazy about Rex.
If you like spy fiction, give Rex Randall and the Jericho Secret a shot and let me know what you think.
If Rex Randall and the Jericho Secret by Vince Carter sounds like a book for you, read an excerpt and buy on