PUBLICATION DATE: APRIL 22, 2012
atalie Flynn has been through a lot in her short life. Her mother disappeared when she was very young and they never found her body. The case remains unsolved. In 2011, Natalie was held captive for 10 days. During that time she was repeatedly beaten. Though she was eventually released, she still carries the scars, both physical and emotional. But what if there is a technology available that can locate someone like her mom who disappeared without a trace. Or what if law enforcement could have found Natalie shortly after she went missing? How different could her life have been?
Now that technology is available in the form of an implant manufactured by Shield Technologies. The passage of a relatively innocuous sounding bill up for debate in the Tennessee legislature is all that stands between Shield Technologies reaching their goal of providing RFID microchips to the general public. When the bill’s major supporter, Reuben King begins to have second thoughts though, Shield Technologies’ owner, Darcy Page, enlists the help of a former Russian operative, Serpionov to pressure the wayward politician into cooperating with their plans. But Serpionov has his own plans—plans which put Natalie right in the crosshairs of a deadly plot for peace. With an excellent premise and fun returning characters, 2 Seconds Late promised to be epic, but in execution fell a bit short.
This is a review I hate to write. Since about half way through this book I’ve feared I was going to have to write it. I’ve read enough books by Eric Wilson to realize some can have slow starts, so I patiently waited for this one to really take off. But it never did. Even as the story reached its climax, I didn’t feel sucked in or truly engaged in the events. Though I love Wilson’s writing, it’s with a heavy heart I must say, this one doesn’t live up to my expectations.
The one constant I count on in Wilson’s books are his characters. He’s written some amazing ones that have stayed with me for years. I loved Natalie in 1 Step Away. I found her quirky and upbeat without being irritating. In this book, I found her flat and predictable, with unimaginative internal thoughts and dialog towards God (actually the blunt, surface spiritual element caused me to cringe a few times). Coupled with Reuben, who I found equally flat, their ‘love at first sight’ romance pushed me into the land of ‘ugh’ when the two were together.
While I didn’t really care what happened to the two heroes, I love the villain. I remember Serpionov from a previous book—or more accurately I remember his gun. I’m a fan of complex sympathetic villains and he’s a great one. I understand his position and to a certain extent agree with his ideas. Serpionov is certainly misguided, but I still enjoy his character and truly love the scenes with him.
Another constant throughout Wilson’s books is thought provoking ideas and the presentation of multiple viewpoints. In this case, 2 Seconds Late mostly delivers, but still falls short. During the debate around RFID technology, there is a lack of opinions against microchip implants. It seems like the only objections are 1) people don’t like the idea of having a microchip (privacy) and 2) the quickly dismissed mark of the beast argument. I want to think this issue through because it does bring up an interesting dilemma—balancing privacy with security. However, I feel like only the safety side of the debate was adequately addressed. Having finished the book, I can somewhat see why the story is presented this way, but I was really hoping for more to think about and some insight I might not have considered.
Though I have some issues with 2 Seconds Late, it does have a quote towards the end that I simply adore. “I know there are some who view free will as a curse, but it’s actually a gift, a chance to partner with me in this dance.” Reading this book was worth every minute just to find this sweet little nugget at the end.