More than 700 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘terrorism’

Islamic terrorism, from the inside and out

The Association of Small Bombs: A Novel, by Karan Mahajan @@@ (3 out of 5) It’s 1996. Two brothers, ten and thirteen, walk into a busy Delhi market with their twelve-year-old friend. The brothers are Hindu, the friend, Muslim. As they arrive, a terrorist bomb explodes, instantly killing the two brothers but only slightly wounding… Read More ›

High stakes in this excellent espionage thriller

At Risk (Liz Carlyle #1), by Stella Rimington @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Ex-spooks with a modicum of writing ability sometimes turn to writing spy thrillers once they’ve left the world of espionage. Rarely, though, do we see fictional treatments of the game come from anyone who retired at the very top of the game…. Read More ›

Paradise lost in a small Idaho town

A review of Wayward (Wayward Pines #2), by Blake Crouch @@@@ (4 out of 5) Spoiler alert: do NOT read this book (or this review!) unless you have already read Pines, the first novel in the Wayward Pines trilogy. Wayward is the second. It makes absolutely no sense as a standalone story. Now, assuming that… Read More ›

Money-laundering and the Russian mob

A review of Single & Single: A Novel, by John le Carre @@@@ (4 out of 5) John le Carre established his well-deserved fame in the early 1960s on the basis of the espionage fiction that reflected his career in Britain’s Security Service (MI5) and Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Over the five decades since then,… Read More ›

Inside the fight for Israeli independence

A review of City of Secrets: A Novel, by Stewart O’Nan @@@@ (4 out of 5) A Latvian Jew freed from imprisonment in World War II internment camps makes his way to Palestine in 1948 and joins the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary organization that led the fight for Israeli independence. His new name is Jossi…. Read More ›

Lucas Davenport takes on extremists

A review of Extreme Prey (Lucas Davenport #26), by John Sandford @@@@ (4 out of 5) Lucas Davenport took his first bow on stage in 1989 with the publication of John Sandford’s second novel, Rules of Prey. Now, 27 years and 26 books later in the Prey series, Davenport has left behind the bureaucratic hassles… Read More ›

An engrossing novel about Irish terrorists’ real-life attempt to kill Margaret Thatcher

A review of High Dive: A Novel, by Jonathan Lee @@@@ (4 out of 5) Relative newcomers to the political scene may not recognize the name Margaret Thatcher, who served as Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. A Conservative who represented the right wing of her party, she crushed the trade unions,… Read More ›

The existential threat of contagious disease

A review of Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond, by Sonia Shah @@@@@ (5 out of 5) To judge from the over-the-top rhetoric on display among the Republican candidates in the 2016 Presidential primary campaign, many millions of Americans live in abject fear of immigration, terrorism, and having their guns taken away…. Read More ›

Reimagining Saddam Hussein’s role in history

A review of Eye of the Storm (Sean Dillon #1), by George Higgins @@@@ (4 out of 5) In Eye of the Storm, British thriller writer Jack Higgins reimagines the story behind the mortar attack on 10 Downing Street that took place in 1991 shortly after John Major succeeded Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister. The… Read More ›

The IRA, the KGB, MI5, and the Corsican mob all meet, and everything goes wrong

A review of Touch the Devil (Liam Devlin #2), by Jack Higgins (Harry Patterson) @@@@ (4 out of 5) Liam Devlin, Martin Brosnan, and Frank Barry are ruthless, highly trained killers. All three are veterans of the IRA, but their paths have diverged widely by 1979. Devlin, now sixty-one years of age and still a… Read More ›