Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Manhattan Lockdown, by Paul Baptista

In this modern day thriller we find the city of New York, specifically Manhattan, under attack by terrorist. The action starts out with a several bombs being detonated and many people dying as well as property being destroyed.

Among those caught in the bombings is the Mayor of New York, Roland Fortune, and many well know famous people. Mayor Fortune while injured by the explosions finds himself needing to stay involved so as to bring hope and comfort to the citizens of New York.

Police Commissioner Gina Carbone puts into action the emergency plan titled “Fort Apache.” This plan locksdown Manhattan by closing all the bridges, all the subways, all trains and all helicopter and boat traffic to the island. In essence the Island of Manhattan becomes a large prison for the millions who live there and those who just happened to be visiting.

The first set of bombings is not the last. There are more attacks that take place.

One of the first responders to the first attack is an off duty Emergency Room doctor, Gabriel Hauser, who gets dubbed the Angel of Life as many video feeds capture him going from victim to victim at the first bombing site.

What is interesting is to work our way through the story and follow the actions of the Mayor, the Police Commissioner, the NYPD as well as The President of the United States.

But what caught me more about the story, although it is very well written and exciting, was the fact that I felt it was more a political statement about Gay rights, Police over reach and profiling and how politicians often are looking out for themselves than for those they are sworn to serve.

While it seems as those there is some preaching going on during the story I found that it really didn’t detract from the story, nor did it offend my sensibilities, even though I am a retired Police Chaplain.

I loved the tension. I love the interplay of the characters. I loved the development of the characters. I think that Paul Baptista did a great job with this story and I look forward to many more.

Friday, April 15, 2016

On Edge, by Albert Ashforth

This book is a historical fiction about the collapse and failure of the Bank of Kabul in Afghanistan. At the time of the banks failure almost a billion dollars went missing. Twenty-two individuals were put on trial by the Afgahn courts and found guilty of theft.

At a time of the U.S. Military being in country is it possible that the influx of U.S. Dollars into the economy lead to the greed and theft of these millions of dollars.

At the same time Green on Blue killing was taking place, where Afghan workers were found to turn on and murder their American counterparts.

This is the situation that Alex Klear enters when his former handler asks him to go to Afghanistan and investigate the murder of his friend Colonel Hansen who was investigating the collapse of the bank and missing U.S. Funds.

The story is well written and documents well the issues of the war in Afghanistan and how the U.S. Government sends millions of dollars into a war zone without a whole lot of oversight.

The author was "in country" at the time of these events. While the characters are fiction and the story line is not part of history it weaves itself well through the issues of that time in Afghanistan (2013) when the bank failed and people were going on trial.