Brant weaves the criminal element of the Yugoslav Wars into the story and life of his main character. Zlatan is recruited from inside a prison cell, but his so-called freedom has a high price.
He essentially becomes the lap-dog of the people who have freed him. They can demand his obedience at any time. To kill, to stalk and to destroy. He is their personal pawn.
Often it seems as if Zlatan is having a dialogue with the reader, almost as if he is asking their opinion or wanting their understanding.
In a way I believe it is him asking the audience/reader to be his conscience. Will we judge him for his violent crimes and complete lack of restraint? Do we understand the fact he has no choice?
Of course the truth is he does have a choice. Perhaps he enjoys the power, the violence and the lifestyle. In fact given the right circumstance he might even be at the top of the pyramid.
The author delves into the murky financial, political and personal motivation going on in the background of the Yugoslav Wars. At the forefront is the criminal underworld, the secret police and the criminals who played a pivotal role in the Wars.
What Brant needs to do is focus his energy a little more, give the plot more direction and give the characters more depth. There is a lot of potential, and the political and historical context is a minefield with plenty of avenue for exploration.