America is rocked by another terrorist attack. Has Islamic terrorism again come to America?
A large truck bomb explodes at a Daytona Beach hotel during Spring Break. The casualty list, and the amount of damage, is huge. Tom Darden, a reporter for a regional radio news service, gets into the blast area, when everyone else is being kept out. Over the next few days, he writes a story that starts to put some of the pieces together. It involves a couple of missing illegal aliens, and a black pickup truck with Texas license plates. Darden's boss has no interest in running the story, because he was officially told, by his boss, to back off the story. As punishment, Darden is sent to Iraq.
The patrol that Darden is part of is attacked, and, in the chaos, Darden photographs things that he shouldn't have photographed. He is thrown in prison, but this is not your average prison. For lack of a better term, this is an unofficial, "off-the-books" prison. It's the sort of places where Iraqis with absolutely no connection to the insurgency, are tortured, frequently to death, simply because the civilian contractors can do it. Darden's cell neighbor is a former Army medic whose "crime" was treating one of those tortured Iraqis. After a few days, Darden is released and put on a plane back to America.
Back home, Darden writes about his experiences in Iraq, and posts on several different websites. It attracts the attention of powerful people in Washington, which leads to an assassination attempt. A senior adviser to the President, called the War Hawk, goes live on national TV. Using the Daytona Beach bombing as a justification, he imposes martial law. Rioting is widespread. The country is very divided. Can Tom, along with sympathetic government officials, expose the truth before it is too late?
This is an excellent piece of writing. It works really well as a political thriller, and it's much too plausible. Highly recommended.
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About the reviewer
Paul Lappen (plappen)
I am in my early 50s, single and live in Connecticut. I am a lifelong very, very avid reader and am a freelance book reviewer with my ownblog (http://www.deadtreesreview.blogspot.com). Please visit. It … more
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