BOOK TITLE: The CleanSweep Conspiracy
AUTHOR: Chuck Waldron
GENRE: Fiction - Thriller/ Dystopian
NUMBER OF PAGES: 304
FORMAT: Digital / Kindle
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Laura Fabiani of iRead Book Tours for this review copy
Matt Tremain publishes Verité, a modest blog dedicated to writing about the truth and exposing scams. Currently, he’s following up on rumors concerning something called CleanSweep, a mysterious project in Toronto, Canada.
Matt gets his break when a whistleblower connects CleanSweep to billionaire Charles Claussen. Claussen plans to rid Toronto of undesirables, beginning with street people and extending to any citizens who don’t match Claussen’s restrictive screening matrix.
With the help of a high-ranking government official, Claussen plans to incite riots and violent unrest, conning Torontonians into sacrificing privacy and civil liberties for illusionary security and safety. Toronto will be reduced to a repressive city-state.
The information overwhelms Matt, who doubts he has the courage, skill, or readership to take on CleanSweep. But the murder of his source convinces the blogger to take a stand—although he’s too late to prevent chaos from gripping Toronto’s streets.
To get the word out, Matt’s going to need allies. He may have found some in a Toronto police detective and a local TV reporter pursuing the same story—presuming they aren’t allied with Claussen. If they are, Matt’s going to become yet another victim of CleanSweep, and the truth will be buried forever.
Having promised myself not to read Dystopian for some time at least, I found myself taking this up because the summary was exciting and some part of it relatable. The cover looks slightly unsettling, and that probably was the desired effect. I began this book with no preconceived notions and the thousand reasons why I had avoided dystopian books in the recent past.
The story line is simple - some individual who wields some amount of power, political or monetary or sometimes both, decides that certain parts of the society are not to his liking. Initiating a mass genocide to clean up people who are undesirable to them seems to be the logical next step. They create an environment where these people are hated and the common public's minds are swayed. They are convinced that the 'undesirable people' are really dangerous and only the individual with power can protect them. They willingly give up their privacy and ideals in return for a false feeling of security. An unlikely hero emerges from amidst the deluded people, probably a person shunned by society and sees the shocking reality. Some people from the corrupt government support the hero who fights the powers that be unto death / victory.
The above generic plot can become very specific within minutes if applied right. No matter what format dystopian novels follow, there can be no denying the fact that they succeed because they are, at least in parts, eerily similar to the current world scenario. While I was reading about the CleanSweep conspiracy, I could not help remembering the collective events from the past and present that have shaped what our future is going to become. Revolutions happen not because people are uncomfortable with surrendering to autocracy but because they want to regain what is rightfully theirs. No single person/ a group of persons can decide whether or not they like a certain section of people and have the power to 'cleanse' the world.
Matt Tremain is a blogger. Someone who has not really seen the limelight and shies away from it. He runs a small blog that focuses on exposing scams and bringing the truth out. When it comes to CleanSweep, a security project that might be the dangerous concoction of someone who is on a mission to eliminate certain sections of people - homeless, LGBT, etc., - for reasons best known to themselves and which are probably baseless. A whistleblower finds out a link between CleanSweep and billionaire Charles Claussen. Matt is hesitant and unsure of his next step as he learns Clussen planned to stage riots and unrest with the help of some powerful officials of the government. Matt's indecision goes when his source becomes a victim and he decides to dig deeper.
What happens next forms the rest of the story. As a book, it is extremely well paced. The language is a bit on the complex side, with many descriptive words clearly giving life to the story. But the narration falters in a few places. The big plot elements are handed out on a platter, making the readers lose interest at places. The story, though, makes up for it and reminds one of the frightening mass killings that happened in the past. Overall, the book is a great combination of what was and what could be, merging real life with fiction so perfectly that it becomes hard to put down once you are involved!
WHAT I LIKED:
- The book maintains an exciting pace evenly (save a few parts) - making it a good page turner
- The events are relatable and eerily frightening
- The characters are well defined and do justice to their roles.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:
- The book is clearly divided into the good and evil characters - making it hard to get attached to / understand the deeper causes of why the villains do what they do.
- The big reveals happen so casually, without any adrenaline rush.
- The approach of showing plans by the way of discussion between characters made me feel like I was watching one of those movies where the evil guy reveals the plot and his mega plans to the hero in a monologue
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed here are mine and remain unbiased.
A page turner. One you shouldn't miss if you are a fan of this genre.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Iowa, Chuck Waldron lived in Ontario, Canada, before relocating to Florida’s Treasure Coast. Over the years, he’s held many jobs. The ones he can mention in print include US Army soldier, truck driver, office manager, mailman, real estate salesman, social worker, hardware store clerk, and shuttle driver.
Fate played a crucial role when he walked into his first writing class, and he still honors the memory of the teacher, Henrietta. She gave him permission to write. That—along with countless writing groups, classes, seminars, and much sweat—has resulted in over fifty short stories and four novels.
Waldron often likes to pretend interest, lacks perseverance, and could generally use a good talking to—until it comes to his writing, that is. He and his wife Suzanne reside in Port St. Lucie, Florida. While keeping an eye out for hurricanes, alligators, and Burmese pythons, he’s busy writing his next novel
EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Kindle, Paperback
PRICE $2.99 for Kindle, $12 for Paperback
BOOK LINKS: Amazon