By Jon Land
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
All you need to know about this book is in the description provided by the publishing company:
Blaine McCracken races to stop terrorists from unleashing an ancient weapon of unimaginable power at the president’s State of the Union speech
Contemporary global suspense thrillers like this usually come in two colors. They are either masterfully structured in a less is more style that enable the reader to believe in what is probably an outlandish plot or the author throws a lot of crap against the wall hoping that some of it sticks.
I am afraid Jon Land has a very messy wall.
So what do we have here? A macho hero, a femme fatale assassin, a seriously deranged man of the cloth, a handful of fanatical military types, An Indian sidekick dubiously nicknamed "Indian". I could go on but you get the picture. And I haven't even mentioned the plethora of deadly but unlikely acts of violence that our comic book hero waltzes through. Of course, there are mysterious historical incidents that feed into a doomsday scenario. Actually, I sort of liked how Land merged the Roanoke colony mystery with the Maria Celeste ship disappearance into a deadly modern scenario. I wondered if the author's doomsday scenario was actually based on reality and science in any way. But there were so many scenes that taxed my ability to suspend disbelief that I didn't bother to Google it to find out. My favorite eye-roller in the novel concerns a virtuoso pianist who is commandeering a military raid on her smartphone while she simultaneously plays the piano in a standing room only concert. Try to beat that, Alicia de Larrocha!
I guess it was fun in a comic book sort of way. Those who dig non-stop action thrillers will certainly dig this. Perhaps one can criticize this reviewer for not recognizing pure escapism and just roll with it. But it is hard to roll with the plot when the plot is rolling over you. So if you like this sort of thing, be my guest. I'll just keep searching to find a good contemporary thriller about terrorists and WMDs that doesn't dirty up my walls.
Method acquired: Netgalley