Monday, 9 September 2013

Book Review: Gauntlet

The publicist calls this a reality-based global thriller. I heartily concur.
Lots of beautiful scenery, the author has definitely done his research and visited the US locations, Canada's British Columbia, and places overseas, across the pond. If escapism is important to you, this is the book for you.

It is violent, but from what I read, see and hear, terrorism, torture and chemical assaults are reality in this world. With a book you need not dwell on them, and your mind will only create the mind pictures that you can manage. I'm not in favour of gratuitous violence. It does have to propel the plot.

Aaron develops characters that are real; fallible, weak, strong, believable, and ones with whom you can empathise. You don't have to like them all. You do have to care what happens to them!

We understand that the world is full of special people. One of the most likeable characters is one with autism. Richard Aaron has provided some understanding of this medical condition, and show how society no longer needs to bemoan, but embrace people with special skills and talents. His son was the basis for this autistic character, and you know that he understands the  condition.

Gauntlet I found an excellent read. I really enjoyed it. In the light of current affairs, such as the crisis in Syria, it provides a better understanding, to my mind, of how people, tribes, nations and sectarian violence shapes the world. I can see a George Lucas movie from this book!
The good news is that Aaron's sequel, Counterplay, will be out this fall!

For an author's precis, read on. It's far better, however, just to devour the book without further background information.

Dorothy Thompson interviewed Aaron, and this is what he said,
"Can you tell us a little about your latest book? (click here for the full interview)
The novel begins when Libya, to appease the U.S. and Britain, agrees to turn over its vast stockpile of highly explosive Semtex (some 660 tons). It is hauled to the center of the Sahara, and destroyed. Richard Lawrence, the CIA agent in charge of the assignment, realizes afterwards that 4.5 tons have gone missing, and is now in the hands of terrorists intent on destroying a major American landmark. This sets off a colorful chase across the globe, as the Semtex makes its way towards its intended destination, with the good guys racing madly behind. Turbee, the autistic hero, is the character based on my son. Part of the novel deals with his fall and subsequent redemption, as he’s the only one with the keys to the terrorist’s destination. The tension notches higher throughout the novel, and the leader is constantly left with the question - where is the Semtex heading, and will the U.S. be able to stop it in time?"

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