Review of The Armstrong Solution by Jack Eadon

by Nastya Petrovitch

The book centers around a young, hopeful executive, named Kathy Armstrong, who is just starting out at Pepe’s Cafe. She has just recently gotten divorced and desires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. At Pepe’s Cafe, ethics are left at the door in the pursuit of profit. She works in an atmosphere where women are disregarded and viewed only as sexual objects – something that poses a considerable obstacle to a woman such as herself ever getting a position of considerable esteem. In the midst of this, she finds a companion in a marketing manager named Joanne Johnson, a mother struck with HIV who was completely disregarded and belittled by the very company to which she devoted her entire life.

The president of Pepe’s Cafe, John Robbins, is under considerable pressure to meet impossibly high profit margins in order to keep his job. He cannot find any way to save his job until he meets a mysterious man called “the General” at a party hosted by his vice-president, Lane Rankins. The General promises to deliver hot sauce at such a cheap price and guarantees that it will be so good that customers will be running back for more. At first, he is suspicious – it seems almost too good to be true. But when Armstrong shows that the maximum profit can be made by charging as little as fifty-nine cents per taco and decreasing costs drastically, he decides to work with the General.

When Johnson goes to inspect the facilities, she discovers something so dangerous that she goes missing. Meanwhile, the tacos are flying off the shelves, in such a frenzy that Armstrong begins to get suspicious. Her suspicions lead her to find out just why the hot sauce is so popular and the secret that Johnson had uncovered, which lead to her disappearance.

Overall, it was a pretty good book. It kept a good pace and I definitely wanted to know what would happen next. I did feel, although, that the character development was lacking, and that the characters in the book were rather two-dimensional. One thing that really bothered me was how women were portrayed in the book. All of the women in the book were overemotional and weak. For example, Armstrong’s secretary, Carol Goodman, was looking over the reports and found something really amiss, so she started crying. I don’t know any women who would cry over such a trivial matter. As a woman myself, I find that rather insulting. Also, Armstrong often feels overly shocked when the men curse, something I found very stereotypical. Only an eight-year-old girl would act that way. I mean, unless she lived under a rock, hearing profanity would not be all that shocking. In fact, I know many women who curse a blue streak and even the ones that do not are savvy enough to handle themselves when they hear profanity.

I would give this book a 3 out of 5. It’s definitely suspenseful and clearly written, but the lack of character development and the stereotypical depiction of women were definitely disadvantages. If you like thriller-type mystery novels, then I would definitely recommend this book to you.

You can get this book at Amazon.

You can read Nastya Petrovitch’s blog at http://www.progressiveu.org/blog/candy7468

 

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