Top positive review
One of the best novels I have read in a long time
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2015
One of the best novels I have read in a long time. Fascinating philosophical reflection on the roots of fundamentalism cloaked in a realistic and wonderfully suspenseful story. Well developed and very interesting characters. The main character Arkin, for one, is utterly convincing as a broken down, haunted, but gifted investigator struggling with the philosophical conflicts of his work. Arkin's foil, Morrison, is also a great character. Overall the plot is sophisticated, and the ideas presented in the story invite several book club, tavern, political science seminar, or dinner table discussions that are probably long overdue in this country. In fact, the story presents several VERY interesting ideas and takes on the whole post-9/11 law enforcement and counter-terrorism effort.
The dialogue is crisp and authentic. The pace of the story is spot on, with tension growing throughout. My only complaint is that I wanted it to be longer. However, it seems to be set up for a sequel, so hooray for that.
This is one of those stories where you definitely get the feeling the author lived some of what he talks about, and that elements of the story come from his life. What I mean is that at least some of this stuff probably really happened. Not the main plot, of course. But a lot of what happens to the characters, the side stories, the “color.” Although I was never in law enforcement, I found myself really relating to the main character. You really feel his struggles and get to understand his point of view vis-à-vis his troubled past.
Some of my favorite lines:
"There's a big difference...between hope and faith."
In answer to a question about what, if anything, the character believes in: "An absence of anxiety, I guess. After all, all any of us really want, deep down, is just to be able to sleep at night, right? To not be afraid. The rest of it's just frosting."
"I'll tell you, Nate, kingdoms will rise and kingdoms will fall, and it will all be determined by the damned brand of lithium batteries they bought."
This one will make you laugh, will make you clench your jaw, and might even make you cry. A fantastic read. Glad the author finally wrote another book. I very much look forward to more from him.