The following is an excerpt from one of my summer reads:
When I saw this book, three months ago, it was part of the KBA Bluegrass Award list for 2016.The following is an excerpt from one of my summer reads:
When I saw this book, three months ago, it was part of the KBA Bluegrass Award list for 2016. -A little digging and you will find that this is both odd and inspiring because the list is usually confined to fiction.- This book clearly falls into the burgeoning realm of creative non-fiction. Based on the hunt and capture of Adolf Eichmann, Neal Bascomb weaves together the events of his other book, Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi, into a narrative that is easily approachable for everyone. The story is broken into three key parts: the initial period of hiding, convincing others of Eichmann's existence, and the capture/extradition for trial in Israel.
(view spoiler)[ I must admit the post-WW2 period is fascinating to me. Many wanted to cling to the ideals of fascism even though its oppressive regimes failed to build a 1000 year Reich. Fear of a rising tide of Sovietism in Europe and the economic decline made for an interesting time in Europe. However, his book doesn't look at that aspect. Instead, Bascomb concentrates on the difficulties of an anti-Semitic post-war world that wanted to move on. Following the events in Cologne, Israeli leadership was worried about what could happen in Europe. A blatant resurgence of Nazi officials in West German politics and neo-Nazi groups in Argentina, fueled this fear and a capture of Eichmann was an answer.
We see little of Eichmann's time in Nazi Germany before his exile except for his time in Budapest shortly before a retreat and this seemingly jarring moment after seeing the killing squads in Poland, "despite his feelings toward Jews, Eichmann was unnerved by what he saw. But the fear of losing his job, and the power that went with it, outweighed his misgivings, and he accepted the need to rid Europe of the Jews through extermination." By 1960 his feelings about the war and joys of Nazism both isolated him in the ex-Pats community and were used to bring him to trail.
How Eichmann comes to Argentina is part of the mystery and builds some of the suspence for the story. He was a high ranking member of the SS, and no one wanted to believe he had become a simple factory manager living in stucco hovel on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Bascomb writes about his initial escape, "he hiked away into the mountains, Eichmann was far from prepared to be a man on the run. He had little money, no safe house, and no forged papers. Unlike some of his SS comrades, he had not salted away a fortune in gold and foreign currency. Now he regretted that he had not kept the bribes he took from the Jewish leaders, who would have given him everything they had in exchange for their lives." Eichmann is also shown to have been pulled into the Genocide by others but then fully embraces the events as they took place. One can only wonder if the AE diatribes about the greatness of Nazism are left out so that a young audience wouldn't become inundated by his warped since of bigotry and violent nationalism. (hide spoiler)] What is here is the harrowing events of the Israeli Mossad and Shin Bat agents and the volunteers who helped them Isser Harel and his men where an amazing team that spent hundreds of hours researching and detaining Eichmann's capture. In his own words, "for the first time in history the Jews will judge their assassins, and for the first time the world will hear the full story of the edict of annihilation against an entire people. Everything depends on the action we are about to take.” This is a book that should be on everyone's to read list.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The third installment in Joel C Rosenberg's series almost a forgone conclusion. It is a typical read in the series but the elements of Christian eschaThe third installment in Joel C Rosenberg's series almost a forgone conclusion. It is a typical read in the series but the elements of Christian eschatology are wonderful to read. The woodenness and derivative ]Jack Ryan/Red Rabbit nature of the main character and his cast of American CIA military personnel was as expected and typically just too much. That being said the actions of new believers is what pulls the story along. I found myself looking up verses alongside characters and mostly skimming through the violence of the book. The most compelling part of the story was the internal struggles of newly converted Muslim leaders and the tie-ins of eschatology and the events of the imam.
The Imam is, again, an unwieldy farcical character of evil and extremism which makes his moments both predicable and jarring. Around pg 300, I was only surprised by him because an entire scene progressed without him killing a subordinate. One of the final scenes has the Imam in the presence of subordinates and a believer but no one seems to really know what to do with the Christian. The lead up to the moment and the internal struggles of the characters who are believers is amazing and truly the best part of the read.
They were the true heores of the book and constantly discussed and struggled to find answers to questions like: Whom do I tell? When do I speak of Christ to a non-believer? How much do I reveal? Will the Holy Spirit truly use me a as mouth piece for salvation? If anything, Rosenberg should really pull out these kinds of conversations and dialogues to build a manual on how to become a Missionary or Evangelist after becoming a Believer. ...more
Jeff Nesbithas developed a new type of Christian-thriller. Instead of random demonic violence running amok in the general population, we see the methoJeff Nesbithas developed a new type of Christian-thriller. Instead of random demonic violence running amok in the general population, we see the methodical and narcissistic Jude. Two brothers grow up but choose different paths. Jude makes a secret deal to get what he wants out of life while his brother becomes a simple reporter who is known as Jude's brother. The story follows how the secret of Jude's success begins to unravel around him. Those looking for a new writer in the same vein as Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker This should be on your need to read list. (view spoiler)[I plan on going back and reading the other books in this series and maybe revisit this one to get more of the story as a whole. Its readable as a standalone but I seemed to be missing a large part of the back story with the Regents and what has happened before the action in this story. (hide spoiler)]...more
I really wanted to read this novel. When I found out about the sequel, I couldn't wait to read the story. That being said, meh. I like Doctorow and moI really wanted to read this novel. When I found out about the sequel, I couldn't wait to read the story. That being said, meh. I like Doctorow and most of his views. His fear of a big brother government and a cyber-security world are spot on. The problem is that Marcus is just a dumb kid character. He never seems to put two and two together long enough to make a real change in his life. Ange is the best character in this novel and I wanted to know note about her this time. Because of all the baggage from his detention at the end of LB, Marcus is just too broken. He is weak and lost. I constantly wanted to scream at him and say, get the darknet out there and make it work for everybody. Tor isn't that complicated with the right help. It also felt like too much random stuff was happening to Marcus. The protest and riot. The goon squads and gyro copters. It was just too much to make it work because the randomness just didn't go together like it did in LB. In the end, it is a good read for those who like techno thriller. It's not great literature or his best work....more
Davis Bunn hits the Marc once again. This latest addition to the Marc Royce novels is a great example of when a writer is in his stride with a long teDavis Bunn hits the Marc once again. This latest addition to the Marc Royce novels is a great example of when a writer is in his stride with a long term character. In this one, the US and Israel believe that the Iranian nuclear program has bought missile and launching components from North Korea, thus enters Marc Royce. As always, he is unofficial layman working for CIA. The plot seems like a reversed Iran-Contra. Semi-rogue agents within the Iranian government are secretly selling forged artworks to pay for the development of nuclear program. Royce is sent to investigate and Kitra is pulled into the action. Beginning with a bombing inside of an art gallery this story continues through the richest parts of Europe's art dealer lifestyle. This time the espionage is layered with relationship issues as the two try to find a way to love one another and still be the people God wants them both to be. As always, faith and the underground church play a major role, this time the Iranian diaspora are put center stage. In the end, this a punchy, quick read that is right on point with the Marc Royce from the first book, Lion of Babylon. If Bunn continues this way with the Marc Royce series I could have a new replacement for my go to spy novels....more
Took me far longer than I wanted, but sometimes life gets in the way. This is a great read for the casual christian audience. It compares to his otherTook me far longer than I wanted, but sometimes life gets in the way. This is a great read for the casual christian audience. It compares to his other books Heartland and Impostor. The biggest take away was that it was a bit slow after he gets caught/stuck in Mexico. The adrenaline rush started by the crash and chase scene are lost as he goes into hiding. The flipside is that the locals he meets and befriends give him a great mirror to think about life and faith. Good read in the genre of basic faith drama but not a hit like his other action packed work. Would highly recommend to new Christian reader and anyone who is a big fan of Andy Andrews work....more
For those who are big fans of Marc Royce's story, this will be a welcomed addition but not as great as his exploits in Iraq. The idea of a UN/HalliburFor those who are big fans of Marc Royce's story, this will be a welcomed addition but not as great as his exploits in Iraq. The idea of a UN/Halliburton based conspiracy is great and interesting but tends to fall apart at times. The uplifting elements come from the relationships developed between Royce, Kitra, Charles, and the local elders. The digital edition from amazon was nice but some noticeable copy/edit issues started showing up in the second half of the the book.
(view spoiler)[ My favorite parts of the book had to be his time in Israel. His dreams of a simple future and helping keep the watch of his newly adopted peoples in the Rift Valley. What completely tears this down is the idea that Royce wouldn't accept this as his true future and walks away from it and Kitra in the last chapter. Other elements that surprised me were that I could see Royce and Crowder redeveloping Lodestone or a new group based out of Kenya to do the work for Ambassador Walton. Overall the openness of this stories ending is too much for my taste and didn't seem to jive with the development of Royce as a character during his time in Israel. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
My wife found this at our favorite used bookstore. It was shelved in the Christian Fiction section and is distributed by B&H. First, Ralph Reed knMy wife found this at our favorite used bookstore. It was shelved in the Christian Fiction section and is distributed by B&H. First, Ralph Reed knows his way around beltway politics. His characters at times come off as being copies of current or former politicians and their actions are founded in truth. Second, he can develop a mystery that makes sense and seems to be believable. In this book a US Senator is found murdered and it may be connected to CIA/NSA investigations on the Iranian Nuclear program. The problem is that even though it is a political thriller, it is masquerading as Christian Fiction. Granted it is not laden with expletives, like many in the Political Thriller genre, and characters have some kind of faith, many are associated with a group similar to the Family Foundation, but the issue is that their faith is not necessarily motivating their actions. The reflective introspection of many characters as they challenge their faith with secular politics are lacking or completely missing. Compared to others who write in the genre their is no overwhelming faith driven characterization.
I would put his prose and storytelling on the same level as Joel C Rosenberg and Davis Bunn but there are times that his writing seems a bit flawed. If you are looking for inspiration from a character who is a prayer warrior of a flawed character looking for faith in a broken world this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a David Baldacci without the cussing and gratuitous sex, this is your book. In reality it should be a political thriller written by a Christian instead of Christian Political Fiction. I may try and find one of the other two books in the series but I've got others in the que ahead of this one....more
Horrible time reading this and gave up quickly. After reading Scalzi's books this became a big recommendation. Needless to say it is hard boiled 70s SHorrible time reading this and gave up quickly. After reading Scalzi's books this became a big recommendation. Needless to say it is hard boiled 70s SciFi. Too much language + Too much sex = just not really that interesting. Disappointed because so many said this was a seminal work in the genre and it's just not worth it. ...more
**spoiler alert** Has to be one of my all time favs and for more than just one reason. First, the story is completely original. Instead of depending m**spoiler alert** Has to be one of my all time favs and for more than just one reason. First, the story is completely original. Instead of depending more on paper thin Shia and Sunni bad guys, Davis Bunn creates a menagerie bad guys and misguided Americans. Second, the action tugs at you for a good reason. Instead of forcing you to read your way through a set of violent events, Bunn is asking/demanding that you cheer for Marc Royce and Sameh el-Jacobi to succeed. Third, both of the good guys are in it as a self-sacrificing act. Neither wishes to gain from a new Iraq or manipulate the Americans Fr monetary gain. Royce and Sameh are wanting to save innocent people and as a result the possible future of Iraqi governance. Finally, hope for a better Middle East is the center-point of the action, not regime change or pro-Israel/anti-Muslim ramblings. This book wishes to see a self-sustaining pro-active and strong democracy begin to heal the wounds of the past millennia.
In the end, Bunn has created what has to be the first selfless spy novel. No dark agendas of New World Order or vengence but simply a man, Marc Royce, trying to find his missing friend, an operative attached to the Green Zone in Baghdad. As a result, God has set him on a course that leads him straight to Sameh el-Jacobi, the last honest lawyer in Baghdad. These two men, in course of a week, save the lives of over 40 children, divert a bombing, save the life of a future the Grand Imam of Iraq, and foil an Iranian plot to arm Shia radicals in Iraq with missiles. Not bad for a Christian lawyer in a Muslim country and an ex-CIA field operative now turned widower. Davis Bunn has redefined what a spy novel should become, selfless adoration for the possibility of true peace....more
As the story continues you, again, get only a week's worth time. David is hot on trail of the nuclear warheads but is being emotionally torn by the trAs the story continues you, again, get only a week's worth time. David is hot on trail of the nuclear warheads but is being emotionally torn by the truth of his Muslim faith. While Twelfth Imam continues a succession of miracles, a rogue assassination attempt on the leaders of Egypt, israel, and the US throws the nuclear option clearly onto the table. David hast to find out what really happened, track down the nukes, and not get distracted by the emotional burdens of his dying mother.
Rosenberg has created the real spy novel. A modern and real ME version of James Bond. ...more
**spoiler alert** So, I must say that my understanding of Islam and it's tenants is above average. I also have a special place in my heart for the Per**spoiler alert** So, I must say that my understanding of Islam and it's tenants is above average. I also have a special place in my heart for the Persian people. All of that given, this is a great book and one heck of a ride through the ideologies of the current regime.
The story is given from the POV of an American born son of two Iranian ex-pats, they are refugees from the 1979 revolution. In addition, the wild card of 9/11 is tossed into the deck as an unexpected event that plays out well and not contrived. This pushes our protagonist David to join the CIA and vow to kill Osama. Now since the series started before the assassination this universe might deal with his death at a point but not in this book.
With his training and field experience almost complete, David is thrust into Iran as an IT telecom guy. This gives him access to a world of high-end tech that the regime needs to integrate. On top of this the leadership, both political and religious have been planning for the revealing of the Twelfth Imam and a nuclear Iran to protect the coming global caliphate. Toss in a nuclear scientist who is assassinated by Mossad, a trigger shy US President, and a Shia cleric having a crisis of faith, you have a really interesting scenario that could play out in any number of ways.
The strong point of the entire story is that the relationships developed between the characters provide a needed balance for the the overwhelming amount of diplomatic complexities and religious ideologies. I really want to know what will happen next for David and the whole group not just the nukes or the impending apocalypse that Rosenberg is eluding to throughout the story. ...more