Book Review: Exit Strategy by Charlton Pettus

Exit Strategy
Charlton Pettus
Hanover Square Press, May 2018
ISBN: 978-1-3350-1692-8

Life certainly offers a myriad of choices, but Jordon Parrish narrowed what was available to him when everything seemed to be going belly-up.  A brilliant scientist and co-head of his public company (albeit for some strange reason listed on the Hong Kong exchange rather than on NASDAQ here in the States), the experiment he was working on, which the company hoped would be a bonanza, showing no progress, the company’s finances in a shambles and his marriage going on the rocks, he looked to possible solutions, narrowing them down to suicide (which would kill any insurance), or selecting a secret organization that would give him a new identity, allowing him to disappear, care free.

Of course, he chooses the strategy that allow him to exit from all his woes, and he is relocated to Tokyo, where eventually he begins to miss is wife and two children.  Provided with another chance, he is moved to France, but the same nostalgia for his family arises.  Apparently the “Exit Strategy” is not to his taste, and not what he wished for.  The remainder of the novel describes his efforts to extricate himself from his hidden life and return to his former one.

This is a first novel, and it is well done, at least up until the denouement which, to this reader at least, is overdone.  The author has written a thriller, but has ended it with a heavy hand, rather than a subtle conclusion.  Perhaps he’s seen too many movies.  On the whole, however, the book certainly is well-written and satisfying, and can be – and is – recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, June 2018.