Tag Archives: thriller

Sea-going adventure keeps you turning pages

July 16, 2009

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“Blindfold Game,”
by Dana Stabenow

“Blindfold Game” has been out for three years now, but if you’re looking for a good read and a glimpse of life in some new places, find it and take it to the beach.

The bulk of the action takes place aboard U.S. Coast Guard vessels in the Bering Sea. That’s that cold and rough-water part of the Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Russia, and Dana Stabenow’s thriller puts readers right into the salty spray.

The scene: Terrorists are taking aim at an Alaskan city with a rocket filled with deadly chemical substance.

CIA agent Hugh Rincon and his off-at-sea-too-often Coast Guard officer wife Sara both get pulled into the effort to prevent the attack.

It’s only partly romance, but a better-than-average yarn. Stabenow’s an Alaska native, so her descriptions of her home state include an authentic love of the land.

Landlubbers will enjoy learning something about life at sea and an arm of our services that doesn’t get all that much ink. — 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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