Book Review: The Control Center
Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
A high-stakes political thriller with a deeply romantic undertone
In the first book of Brad Good’s series The China Affairs, Jack navigates a foreign environment, dating, work, and a high-stakes mission that no one can see coming.With no prior experience working for the government, he’s chosen to take on a dangerous task with some serious consequences. We soon realize that Jack isn’t just some American living in China; he’s their only shot at knowing the truth.
We meet Jack on a disastrous first date. While he doesn’t exactly find success in that situation, he does make a new acquaintance that ends up sticking around. Ari, an Israeli man who shares Jack’s political point of view, is also at the bar that night, and the friendship they create from a chance encounter redirects Jack’s life in a whole new way.
With the American government’s backing, Jack is chosen as the key player in a plan to infiltrate a Chinese control center and shed light on what the government is really up to. Mix that in with a few promising job opportunities and a blossoming love life, and you’ve got just a taste of what will happen in The Control Center.
As we follow Jack through this journey, we learn that he is not just a man—but the man. He’s good looking, intelligent, a talented martial artist, an amazing cook, honest; the list goes on. While I was taken aback by how often Jack receives praise from other characters, he really does grow on you throughout the book. It’s a lot of hype to live up to, but he does it—and everyone around him begins to mellow out too.
I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Jack and his newfound love interest Jojo. He meets her by chance and is instantly drawn to her, something we can tell doesn’t happen to him often. Jojo is able to hold her own and is a total match for his positive traits. Good does a great job of creating a dynamic character for Jack’s main love interest. While so much of the book features meetings and men, Jack is able to let his guard down with Jojo, and it sheds a really positive light on his character.
There is a fair amount of mystery in The Control Center. Good skillfully strings the reader along from the moment of Ari’s proposition. We need to know what the Chinese government is up to. Good keeps us entertained with strong storylines running alongside this mysterious project. I’d gladly watch Jack building up his new career and falling in love so we can put the big secret on the back burner from time to time.
With the way this book ended, I’m eager to find out what happens next.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense / Political Thriller
Print Length: 224 pages
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