A guest review from writer Anca Dunavete.
Incorporated Evil is that kind of novel; everybody knows them. They hook you up from the beginning and don’t let go until you’ve finished – and, after you’ve read the ending twice because it was just that unbelievable, it still haunts you for days.
This is because, although a brilliant plot-driven novel by definition, Incorporated Evil is at its heart a story about people and the tension they face – between love and hate, duty and revenge, the good and the evil in all of us. Widdows doesn’t want to tell his readers a story; he wants to tell them all the stories through the characters who populate his imagination land.
The book follows the journey of Sean McManus, a business journalist for a London newspaper, whom the reader finds feeling helpless, turning a little cynical, and living in a quiet desperation for meaning. Despite his best intentions to be an investigative journalist, he grows softer and softer in time as his confidence starts decomposing. His life, however, begins to change when he becomes interested in the untold story behind the CEO of the world’s largest company. A quiet presence in the press although despite his astounding results, Charles Barker-Willet strikes as a modest, media-shy man and intrigues Sean enough to send him in a quest for answers. Sean uncovers a whole new world as he ends up on a roller coaster ride from around the world, chasing shadows and secrets as he begins to put together the pieces of the biggest, baddest and maddest puzzle there is.
On the surface, Incorporated Evil looks like a straightforward book about the corporate world – the aphrodisiac of absolute power, combined with a couple of other ingredients such as romantic love and a good cause. Yet this novel doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin. While discovering what’s behind the world’s largest company would be nearly enough to keep one reading, discovering what happens to the characters soon becomes the priority. It is easy to fall in love with them and wish them well – then follow every step of their journey. While it is obvious from the very start who the main characters are, it is difficult to say that the rest are of any less interest to the reader. All have the great quality of being profoundly human, with warm blood blood and hearts racing and doubts so obvious that drawing the line between good and evil, ironically, becomes hard.
What makes Incorporated Evil special, besides the catchy story, is its plot twists. Although trademark of every book of this kind, they are so much humanized through the characters leading the story forward that their individual stories easily become the main story at times. Having transplanted almost every element out of the real life, but putting them together this way, Widdows has great a possible world that will send both shivers and tenderness down any reader’s spine.
Incorporated Evil is available now through Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.