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Thrillers November 16, 2014
Secrets in the Barrel – A review of the novel ‘The Cost of Crude’
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“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light” - Helen Keller Author Inge-Lise Goss’s novel ‘The Cost of Crude’ takes place in Texas and is set in the backdrop of a car crash of an oil & gas company employee. Gwynn Reznick, the co-worker and friend of Julie, doesn’t believe her friend’s death was an accident. That’s when Julie’s grandmother employs a brilliant PI, Ruben Dordi to investigate her granddaughter’s death. Teaming up with Gwynn, Ruben and his team not only uncovers more cases of missing persons and deaths of Wilton employees but also unearths a deeper conspiracy that threatens the lives of many. And with enemy forces creeping up on them from all sides, Gwynn and Ruben must solve the case before it’s too late. ‘The Cost of Crude’, at its core has a beautiful and convincing story that is worthy of being told. Filled with lots of mystery and elements from a thriller, it is also a whodunit detective story containing traces of corporate espionage and professional rivalry. And at the centre piece of it all are a couple of well etched out characters in Gwynn and Ruben who fit perfectly into the scheme of things, and their involvement in the plot takes the reader along for a wonderful ride. It also has a great cast of supporting characters in Rosie & Holly who make a wonderful addition to the story line. With wonderful dialogues and some very creative innovations to move the story forward, author Inge-Lise has a perfect grip on the narration throughout the book. There are some wild plot twists and turns that you won’t see coming and which will lead you to different conclusions if you try and move ahead of the narrative in trying to find out how it all ends. The author also lets us see the viewpoints of all the key characters; this lets the reader get a deeper insight into each character’s mindset and helps in decoding the intention behind their decisions. Whenever you pick up a new book, you owe it to yourself and the book to give it some time to connect with you, and this novel is no different in this regard. You have to give it some time for you to get used to the various characters and the pace of the narrative and understand what is going on in the background and also make peace with the changing point of view of the characters. But once you do this, then to reuse a cliché but true in its case, you will find it hard to put down the book until you find out the ‘truth’. The novel’s plot lines have an episodic feel to them and it is used as a means to highlight each character and reveal bit by bit of the mystery to the reader by giving you enough clues before moving on to the next phase of the story. The impending romance too has been handled maturely and has not been overdone. The book also introduces Texas and its famous oil industries and rich men to readers by highlighting its rich and colourful history and that is why the novel feels like a well researched book because the people and places in them seem so real. With an action packed story about power hungry and greedy bad people on one side and a couple of good ones set out to stop wickedness in its tracks, ‘The Cost of Crude’ becomes an unforgettable experience especially with its quick witted characters and fast paced twists, turns and surprises. It is a great way to spend some quality hours. 
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