Book - Tripler

Tripler

Thankfully only one Version of Steve Taylor-Bryant takes on this review of Tripler by Neil Vogler...

"Fuck it. There's worse places to die than Biruleyvo"

Tripler is a story of espionage, assassinations and humans unlike any other. All these types of story interest me and I'm a sucker for a well written deep cover book which, on its basic level, is what Tripler most definitely is. Harry Allwear is, for all intents and purposes a tracker, the kind of employee the security services crave, a disciplined ex-soldier who now works for an old Army colleague Hugo in the Org, a company of spy assassins that track down and eradicate a new type of enemy - Triplers, modified humans that, in a blink of an eye, can summon Versions of themselves allowing for three times the threat.

Whilst tracking a Tripler who is high up in the army of meta humans that shadowy American Raymond Thromlin is building, Harry finds himself captured and converted to a Tripler. To prove his allegiance to Thromlin, he is tasked with killing a captured agent from his old Org - ex wife Shannon. During a moment of clarity though, Harry teams up with Shannon and they make their escape, with Harry returning to the Org where, for six months, he is experimented on by Dr Rennard before being released for duty with special medication that controls his mind and keeps the side effect of Tripling, which is eventual insanity and death, at bay. Whilst back on duty, the bond of trust between the Org and Harry is still not quite what it should be and, during the time of uncertainty, another of Thromlin's right hand men, Osprey, destroys the Org from within, bombing their headquarters and killing most of the operatives across the globe. The company goes black and locks down, leaving Harry to find the leak. With help of Kajsa, the woman he cheated on Shannon with thereby ending his marriage, and whose brother had trained him, Harry must navigate Amsterdam and rescue the kidnapped Dr Rennard if only to get more of his meds.

Rennard is now Tripled but is rescued, with Osprey fleeing and Kajsa fatally wounded in the process. Rennard tries to find control and develop new medication, as it turns out Harry had been taking a placebo, whilst Harry must travel to Russia and face Osprey in the battle of a lifetime with the control of human nature as the prize.

It must be hard to do something new with a genre and, whilst genetically modified humans have dominated comics and films for nearly a century, it's not often that the subject matter is covered in literature so well. In fact, before I read Tripler, it was only really Jonathan Wood's Hero series from Titan Books that got anywhere near making a great story of it. What Vogler has managed to do is write, firstly, an adventure book for a generation, this is really up there with Fleming or Ludlum, and then added in the supernatural science element. Take out the Tripler and this is still a top drawer spy novel, a tale of good versus evil and mad dictator folk and scientists playing with the genetic makeup of human beings. The basics of very good storytelling are built into the heart of the book, which allows for the more science fiction parts to drive an intensity to the narrative rather than be relied upon to drag the plot to something, as the story is already solid in its foundations. Add Vogler's wit at often inappropriate times, incredible descriptions of both action sequences and of surroundings, Harry having to cope with his own thoughts and those of Will and Way, his Versions, and the left field use of David Bowie albums throughout, and you have a stunning piece of modern day literature that builds to the most intense climax I've read for a many year.

Vogler has effectively written two very good stories and mixed them together with a explosion of ideas that all work on more than one level. Not for the faint of heart, the way Vogler writes is simple enough to wrap you in the page and last third of the book is knackering, as the intense scenario unfolds not allowing you any respite at all.

Bring me more books like this.

Image - Amazon