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by Jon Land

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-765-30969-6
Publisher: Forge

Seventh in Land’s swiftly paced prisoners-of-a-world-in-conflict saga.

Center stage again are Palestinian-American Police Inspector Ben Kamal and his beloved, ex-Israeli Chief Inspector Danielle Barnea, who is now a fugitive from Israel and works with Ben for the United Nations Safety and Security Service. In The Blue Widows (2003), the couple faced down terrorists who hoped to fulfill a prophecy about the Black Death by means of a plot enjoined by terrorists and drug companies to kill half of the US population. Switch now to the prophecies of Nostradamus and the present-day massacre of a Palestinian village. First, though, back in 1945, a team of American soldiers liberating Buchenwald find under a pit of corpses four large sealed steel containers—a McGuffin not so distant from the one in The Maltese Falcon. As with the Falcon, we don’t find out what’s in the containers until near novel’s end, but everyone tied to these containers winds up dead. Ben and Danielle are working against plots in different parts of the world that happen later to join in with the Nostradamus plot—itself an End of All Things prophecy bent on the destruction of all US states. While Ben chases down an Iraqi villain in the new Baghdad, the UN sends Danielle back to Israel on a UN visa, where she’s still wanted but is allowed in because the Israelis hate the hypocritical UN as strongly as they do the Palestinians (and as Danielle did when she worked for Israeli Security). Her presence now will allow Israel the power to deny everything in the event it doesn’t hear what it wants about the Palestinian massacre she’s investigating. While Ben and Danielle draw ever closer together, both meet surprise bursts of flying bullets in every fourth or fifth chapter.

Engaging heartstuff about lovers divided by religious loyalties, while Land’s mock-serious pulp fiction plot moves hell-bent—just as fans want and as Land loves to deliver.