If you're reading THE INTERROGATOR and you happen to have noticed that the author, JJ Cooper, has a bio that mentions he spent 17 years in the Australian Army, specialising in Human Intelligence including interrogation (as a practitioner and an instructor), you really cannot help but consider the possibilities of truth in fiction. Clinging to the belief that the truth was used when describing the techniques and technicalities, and it didn't quite leak into the actual activities described in the book, kept me sleeping at night.
THE INTERROGATOR builds a frightening reality - one which frequently seems all too plausible, at other times displaying all the elements of the classic military thriller - a lot of blood, gore, mysterious and nefarious goings on, action aplenty, a bit of romance and intrigue, some family background and ultimately - a battle royal between the good guys and the bad.
Jay is an interesting sort of a central character for a thriller. He has a high reputation in his field, he's taught a lot of other people about the techniques and tricks used in interrogation, and whilst he's fully aware of what his tormentors are doing to him when he's placed in the position of victim, he can control some of the outcomes but not all of them. A threat to his own father is nearly enough to make him give up the fight, but then his father's no slouch in the intelligence and covert game and between them, they make a formidable team.
THE INTERROGATOR is a thriller - there are elements in this book that just go with that territory. The ability of the central character to absorb limitless physical pummelling and just get up and get on with it is a given. A big conspiracy - a huge conspiracy is required to make the stakes high - proving that the biggest enemy is often a lot closer than you realise. A touch of romantic and sexual tension. The one man against the entire conspiracy concept gives you your lone wolf, the one man to save the world scenario that you need to keep the action moving and the tension ramped up nice and high. Nothing at all wrong with all of those elements, provided they are executed with some aplomb, which is achieved in THE INTERROGATOR. This book does twist the circumstances a lot more though, and perhaps that's the only minor quibble - there's a lot of twists and turns and the reader will have to be on their game to keep up with what's going on.
I do like a good military thriller. I like a big conspiracy and the one man (or woman) who will save us all from a fate worse than death. I like a bit of super-human action and I like a bit of derring doing and impossible feating. I can even like the touches of sentimentality that arise as the action calms and everyone involved dusts themselves off and gets ready for the next encounter! I sometimes just like a good old fashioned entertaining rush around in an over the top, world's in peril scenario. THE INTERROGATOR filled these elements for me nicely, it kept me wondering until the end, it certainly made me want to cling to my theory of fictional activities way after I'd finished reading the book.