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KBL by John  Weisman


Kill Bin Laden

by John Weisman

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-211951-3
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

In a fictional version of the recent true-life event, SEAL Team Six rises to the occasion and terminates the world’s most famous terrorist.

As the ghostwriter for Richard Marcinko, the founder and first Commanding Officer of the now-famous SEAL Team Six, Weisman (Direct Action, 2005, etc.) is uniquely qualified to fictionalize the May 2011 actions that killed Osama bin Laden. However, this choppy, propulsive invention suffers from the fact that the real events and operators may prove more intriguing, should the veil of secrecy ever be lifted on Operation Neptune Spear. But the armchair warriors who dig Tom Clancy and his ilk will find plenty of techno-babble here. One of the book’s major advantages is that Weisman looks at the operation from disparate viewpoints, represented by major characters. Intelligence on the ground comes from Charlie Becker, a retired Ranger who has since gone native as an in-country spook in Pakistan. “God, Charlie understood, is indeed great,” Weisman writes. “But so, Charlie knew, is a Barnes 70-grain TSX bullet. Or a Match King 77-grain. If Bin Laden wanted to recite kalimah shahada on his way to martyrdom, either one would help him along the path equally as well.” Politics are covered by Anthony Mercaldi, the Director of the CIA. It’s Mercaldi’s character who puts readers in the room with the president of the United States (unnamed, which throws the story off a bit as the CIA and the president square off about the political ramifications). The most appealing characters are the guys doing the dirty work, notably Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Troy Roberts, a God-fearing 24-year-old with a seven-figure training tab and a death toll in double digits. The novel is much better than the typical military fare, but like the inevitable movie, it’s also not as strange or impressive as the truth.

A down-and-dirty thriller that feels as rushed as its publication date.