The Consortium
by Dave Dröge

"The Torah will need to be told again, but now in the form of a popular novel that will appeal to every consuming citizenwe can re-use the principles..."

Bertrand arranges to meet with Milan and Kees-Jan, the two other best-known writers in Europe. Paris is the location chosen to discuss collaboration on a rewrite of the Torah. When the three writers assemble at a Jewish bar, Bertrand introduces his plan to make this religious book over into a novel. He also proposes a publication release to rival great art exhibits.

The writers agree to collaborate. At a second meeting they lay secret plans on how to proceed. All will research the writings of Erich Fromm, chosen because of his childhood knowledge of the Talmud (Torah). Taking the initiative, Milan works alone to outline key points he feels relevant. Milan bases his thoughts on Fromm's works, as well as those of other European philosophers.

Coincidentally, Paris appears to be the current location of four luscious ladiesmodels and professionalswho have shown up recently as romantic interests in the lives of each writer. What type of assignments cause them to disappear for several days after speaking with a man in black? Why is one of these ladies spotted wearing an ear bud while taking notes during the writers' planning session?

The Consortium is an admirable first novel with a unique main premise, entwined subplots, and unpredictable ending. Juggling many characters, the author adeptly manages switching points of view. Dröge's decision to write in English adds ambience and credibility to the dialog, although the trade market will expect text edited by a native-English speaker. Reader involvement in the storyline might increase with more empathetic main characters, while the supporting cast calls to memory spies from a James Bond movie. Remarks are taken straight from issues in the media news without elaboration. An Index might prove helpful should this novel become the first part of a series.

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