A story about ending terrorism by invading Iraq, by supporting Isreal uncritically and by imposing a fair settlement of the Isreali/Palestinian problem on the Palestinians, a solution the Palestinians must accept.
The story is very unusual. The bad guys accomplich 80% of their objectives. I guess you can say the hero saved the the US from the other 20%, but so what. Not a very satisfying story.
After reading several other James Rollins' books depicting Painter Crow as a a genious capable of anticipating his antagonist's every move, this story depends upon Crow's mistakes and his failure to see the obvious to create suspense. The formula that mystery authors fall back on when they are rushed to get out another novel is to make the villan seem invincible and make the hero fall for every trick, get out smarted at every turn until the final scene of the book when everything returns to the natural order. Good defeats evil. Too bad. Rollin's other books were much better.
Enjoyed the story. Barely tolerated the political commentary. I hope the next book sticks to the story.
The characters are interesting at first. Then they all, except the protagonist, become liars. The suspense is the product of not knowing who the protagonist should trust because everyone is lying. You don't know who to believe and there is no way to figure out who, if anyone, is telling the truth. You just wait for the author to tell you what is a lie and what is not. The story is good, the characters are likeable, interesting or sufficiently cunning but the author just keeps pouring on the layers of deceit until you have no way of knowing what is real and what is a lie.
But pretty good nonetheless. The new character, Gideon, has potential but he is no Pendergast.
I have enjoyed the other Jake Grafton/Tommy Carmalita books. In this one however, there is too much idle talk and the suspense is created almost exclusively through the stupidity of the protagonists. Every time the suspense builds they do the dumbest things. No plan, no situational awareness and Tommy gets distracted at every wrong moment.
I loved the Sword of God and The Lost Throne. This book, however, too gratuitously describes the torture and the brutality and masochism of the antagonists. I think it is easy to create tension by raising the spector of violence agaist women and children.
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