Debut author Gould fires off an information-packed military thriller.
In what is essentially the present day (Obama is president and nearing an election year), Islamic terrorists get extremely close to detonating a nuclear bomb in Washington, D.C. Through that failure, the U.S. government learns of a previously unknown terrorist organization that, even more shocking, may have a second nuclear device. After some investigation, it turns out this device is being stored in the tumultuous city of Beirut. In order to stop this device from reaching U.S. shores, characters from the NSA, CIA, U.S. Army and Marine Corps converge on the city in what becomes a melee of violence and deceit. The good guys fight not only disparate groups of Islamic terrorists, but also meddling bureaucrats back in Washington and a popular press bent on portraying the terrorists as sympathetically as possible. The terrorists may be the main threat to America, but they’re followed closely behind by the liberal media and other figures on the left—Joe Biden, Maureen Dowd, Brian De Palma—along with endorsements of popular right-wing heroes like Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. The not-so-subtle political subtexts often distract from the excitement of flying bullets, while doing little to convince a skeptical reader that if the media were only less kind to terrorists, the world would be a better place. Fortunately for fans of action, there’s more blistering action than political diatribes. In the Tom Clancy tradition, the story is part military information, part action-adventure; weapons and the military branches that use them are described in great detail. Though the good guys and bad guys tend to be little more than black-and-white sketches with guns, the tangled plot twists its way through the streets of Beirut until it reaches its explosive conclusion.
Despite relying on political caricatures, a win for fans of military adventures.