Action Movies are RomComs for Men

What I love about The Answer Man is that, at its heart, it’s a love a story.  Yes, it’s one long chase scene with a steadily rising body count and some truly insidious villains, but under all that it’s the story of two people reluctantly allowing themselves to fall in love.

Think about it from this perspective: What makes a good action movie?  Lots of action?  All action moves have lots of action.  That’s why, you know, they’re called action movies.  But what makes The Terminator so much better than Transformers?  The special effects in the latter are far superior to those in the former.  For that matter, there are more action scenes in Transformers.

I would argue that The Terminator is superior because it has a story, and in this case the story happens to be a love story.  “I came across time for you, Sarah” has far more impact than, “Bumblebee, message from Starfleet!”  Or whatever.  I could never make it all the way through a Transformers movie.  But my point is that while we tend to think all we want for dinner is candy, we actually yearn for some meat and potatoes, too.

And that’s what the love story at its heart does for The Answer Man.  It gives you another way to connect to the characters and to the story so that when you put it down, you feel like some of your close friends just went through a thrilling, if harrowing, experience.

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The Answer Man

The Answer Man is now available for Kindle

I spent a lot of time with Russians when I was learning their language in the Air Force.  That was a crazy, fascinating experience that left me with a lot of stray character traits I eventually molded into Vanya, the ex-KGB interrogator who is the protagonist of this story.

Also known as The Answer Man, he’s modeled partly on a legendary (most likely apocryphal) cold war interrogator who was supposedly able to get all the information out of his subjects without asking a single question.  This version of The Answer Man is a little more sympathetic, however.  Vanya has turned 53 and is beginning to regret the empty wasteland of his life.  He’s reached that black mood of post middle-age where you stop recounting your victories and start wishing for redemption.

He seizes an opportunity for that redemption when he decides to save Lolly Graham’s life rather than leave her for the post-interrogation cleanup squad.  That simple, irrational action kicks off a series of events that leaves a trail of bodies across Europe and the United States.

It’s a fun adventure that starts quick and never stops running until the last page.