Richard and Barbara Osborn’s ‘The Red Moon Affair’

A Must Read 300This week I am reviewing a novel by local authors Richard and Barbara Osborn: The Red Moon Affair. The Red Moon Affair is a techno-political thriller following the ambitions of President Edward Tuckwell, a man who believes he should be president for life. Of course, such a proposal is Constitutionally impossible, unless a state of national emergency blurs the already blurry line that presidential powers walk today. Tuckwell’s solution to this Constitutional setback is one of history’s most tried-and-true political tactics: a false flag operation, the most famous of which was when Emperor Nero burned Rome to the ground in 64 AD in order to construct new buildings, after which he blamed the burning on the Christian factions in Rome. The Red Moon Affair swaps back and forth between three groups of individuals: the President and his associates, the Red Moon team, and a group of determined men and women who decide to put a stop to President Tuckwell’s grab for power. What follows is an immensely compelling story of greed, duty, and everything that has every made you paranoid about politicians.

I was very pleased once I saw that The Red Moon Affair was a techo-political thriller. The genre is rarely tackled by local authors, in my experience, so this was a refreshing change of pace. The story is addictive and would be a perfect setup for a film. The writing is solid all around, and there were a number of lines that stood out as profoundly impacting, usually at the end of a chapter, which is fitting. There is little more disappointing than wrapping up a tense sense with an awkward scene transition. The novel does fall prey to some of the traps of being a techno-thriller, though I can’t recall any novels in the genre that do not suffer similarly: there is an abundance of description for various tools of war. The alternative (not giving details to the audience) would make the story unwieldy and confusing, so the cumbersome descriptions found throughout are a necessary evil of a novel filled with intricate technologies and strategies. Coming in at right around 320 pages, The Red Moon Affair is not a particularly long read, which meshes well with its thriller pacing. I was constantly wanting to find out who would win the political chess match being played, and I never had to wait long to see the next strike. It isn’t going to consume your reading schedule for weeks and has a host of characters you will want to follow to completion. The writing is solid, the story tight, and the subject matter is worthy of donning your favorite conspiracy theory shirt or tin-foil hat. All in all, if you like political thrillers or local authors, The Red Moon Affair is a book you will definitely want to check out.

Source: Jake Depew, Assistant Editor