Deadly Serious: Terror is no Laughing Matter by A.J. Thibault is a dark comedy that follows the “poor little rich boy” Jon Goodis as he tries to come to terms with what his role in life should be. With his father, a wealthy and successful CEO of an oil company, Jon knows one day, the wealth will be his, but what is it that life is about? What is it that he’s continually searching for? Fired from his job as a teacher, Jon tries his hand at the thing he’s always wanted to do, stand-up comedy. When Jon stumbles across a murder and gains some information that makes him a marked man, his life is changed forever. He doesn’t know what he has in his possession, but he knows plenty seem to want to kill for it or scare him senseless. Wracked with loneliness, Jon embraces a new relationship with the beautiful Lauren, but all may not be as it seems.
Deadly Serious is one of those stories that straddles genres. It’s more than just a simple “spy” thriller, with much of the emphasis, in the story, on the relationship between Jon and the “love of his life”, Lauren. This allows the author to ask and attempt to answer some of life’s big questions, such as what is our purpose in life, what are we trying to achieve, and what makes a relationship work? Whether the author achieves this, through his characters will be up to each individual reader to decide. I found Jon to be a fascinating character torn between his desire to do what was right, to be alone, strong and independent and his deep-seated need to love, be loved and to trust and be trusted. In summary, this is a solid attempt to create more than “just another spy thriller”, it definitely has more going for it than that.