I consider a thriller more compelling if it deals with a theme that I find significant. That’s why I enjoy eco-thrillers. I had recently read and very much liked the romantic eco-thriller, Amazon Burning by Victoria Griffith. So I was glad to have won a copy of the romantic eco-thriller, Eagleridge Bluffs by Rod Raglin through a Booklikes giveaway.
An important thematic issue to address in a review of Eagleridge Bluffs is the ethics of eco-terrorism. The phrase “collateral damage” is actually used by a member of an eco-terrorist team in this novel. People who want to protect the environment are motivated by their conviction that all the beings who live on our planet have value. How is a phrase like “collateral damage” consistent with that belief?
Miriam, the female protagonist, asks the tough questions that the eco-terrorists weren’t asking themselves. I think that Eagleridge Bluffs would have been a better novel if Zaahir, the eco-terrorist central character, had been portrayed as willing to reflect on his actions. This would have given him more dimension.
I have to say that I almost set Eagleridge Bluffs aside for a reason that is a spoiler.
It undermined Miriam’s credibility as a character. Yet I stuck with the book, and I’m glad I did because the ending was very inspirational.
The reason why I enjoyed the ending so much is because it represents all the progress that Miriam made over the course of the book. This is the aspect of Miriam’s characterization that I found believable. When we first encounter Miriam she has been depressed for some time. This explains her passivity. Gradually, she becomes stronger and reclaims herself.
Yet when I examined the ending from the perspective of Zaahir, it seemed to me that there was some missing character development that would have made the ending possible. Zaahir may or may not have experienced a radical change in outlook. I can speculate, but Raglin leaves us with too many questions about this character.
So there are things that I liked about Eagleridge Bluffs, but there are some serious flaws in the characterization. Readers who care more about the thriller aspect of the book may not have the qualms that I did about whether the main characters were making sense.