Tag Archives: terrorism

Library find: Heroine considering abortion gets tangled in ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland

August 17, 2010

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Night Crossing cover

“Night Crossing,”

by Don J. Snyder

Authentic history of the not-long-ago “Troubles” in Northern Ireland mix with a mid-life crisis for an American woman in “Night Crossing,” a compelling read that caught my eye in the library.

It was a 2001 release by Alfred J. Knopf, so this fast-paced, 277-page novel isn’t new. It is, however, one of the few works of fiction that I’ve come across that deals with the subject of abortion in more than a cursory, matter-of-fact, approving way. In real life abortion isn’t an easily made decision, and author Don J. Snyder does a good job of bringing the abortion decision-making process into his story without making it the focal point.

What is the focal point is the conflict that caused bloodshed in Northern Ireland for so many decades. Snyder uses the Aug. 15, 1998 car bombing in Omagh as the jumping off point for what turns out to be a chase-filled drama across the counties in the north of the Irish island. In real life, 29 people died and more than 200 innocents were injured from the blast that was pinned on a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army, a group that opposed disarmament and a peace settlement. But what role did the British government play in the affair?

Snyder hooks his readers early with the thought of complicity in the evil. How it rolls out makes for great reading. — bz

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Will the Pope survive terrorists shooting up St. Peter’s?

August 26, 2008

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“The Messenger,”
by Daniel Silva

Will Israeli super-spy Gabriel Allon be able to save the life of the Holy Father and get revenge on the Islamist extremist who planned attacking the Vatican? And what and who might be other targets for the terrorists?

The pope is a draw in this page-turner of a novel, but concerns about the pontiff and St. Peter’s really is the cookie part of the Oreo. The creamy filling is how the Israeli and American spy guys infiltrate a Saudi billionaire to get to the terrorist they’ve targeted.

Silva has a good thing going as he takes advantage of post-9/11 fears and anti-Arab sentiments rampant in the West.

He’s also milking his creation of the character Allon, who restores paintings to their original glory when he’s not putting away bad guys. He’s a hero we can’t help but support, and Silva is taking advantage of his protagonist’s popularity now with a fistful of novels.

All are good international thrillers, and “The Messenger” joins the rest as worth your time because it’s a good premise and a good plot.

But know there’s a definite slant to his work, and a message Silva is not shy about: There is evil out there, and the world needs to be more attuned to the threat posed by those who hate capitalism, Christianity and democracy. – bz

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