Book Review | The Path of Good Response by Steve Frogley

Huge thanks to Steve for sending me a copy of his book, The Path of Good Response, in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

Do you value your mother’s health above peace in the Middle East? How about your career over global warming?

If a company runs the best graduate scheme in the world, then it can afford to be probing with its interview questions.

When Joe Massey is offered a role aboard Schelldhardt’s luxurious headquarters at sea, he discovers that the company mission is beyond anything he had ever imagined. Strange dreams disturb his sleep, and it soon becomes clear that nothing is quite as it seems.

Is he really the right man for the job? And if not, then why is he there at all?

Review

Joe Massey is offered a graduate job at sea with the Schelldhardt company. The job is everything you can dream of with luxury living quarters and a brilliant salary – including your student loan being paid off in full right at the start of employment! It’s all you’d ever want, but from the outset he becomes suspicious. Peculiar behaviour onboard, strange dreams and nightmares… Is everything really as good as it seems?

Where to start! This book has a complex and clever narrative, different to anything I’ve read before. It’s intriguing and smart and really makes you think about what you’d do for a dream job.

The Path of Good Response is told via two timelines. We follow Joe Massey right from the beginning in his interview with Schelldhardt. You can tell right from the offset it’s going to be an interesting ride, just by the way he has to navigate himself to the actual interview! The second timeline we follow Arnold Shendi, through some past experiences and also in the current day. The story is told really nicely through these two timelines, providing a full picture of the events and scenarios.

Almost the entire novel takes place aboard a ship, the Ananke, which I found an interesting take on a workplace. Being at sea for long stretches with colleagues and no connection to the outside world is intense. I can imagine it being something people would consider for the right price and it definitely provided an alternate backdrop to the usual office employment scenario.

Joe, as a central character was interesting. He was nicely portrayed as a ‘real’ person. A flawed individual, straight from university with realistic decisions and motives. I like characters who seem like people you’d meet in real life and he was exactly that, just an ordinary guy!

There was a couple of shocking moments for me, towards the end where everything comes together. I didn’t see them coming at all! The way the book and its context is linked together is really clever and I enjoyed it.

The Path of Good Response is out now, published by Vanguard Press. You can purchase the novel below (and also support independent bookshops!)

Bookshop.org

Note: This is an affiliate link. If you purchase via this link, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Until next time,

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