Page-turners abound in an even dozen new additions to today’s Free Book Alert presentation of over 200 free contemporary titles in the Kindle Store….
A would-be bank robber ends up in a stolen car with a dead Sunni community leader stuffed in the trunk. And that’s just the start of a thrilling tangle of plots and counterplots…
“…a gripping, fast read“
–Henry Brown, author Hell and Gone
by Richard Sanders
4.3 out of 5 stars 3 Reviews
Here’s the set-up:
THE PURE PLOT PITCH: Here’s a bad day: Guy sets out to rob a bank but ends up pulling a carjacking, and when he’s arrested a body is found in the trunk. The victim is a Sunni community leader, and why was he killed? Who killed him? The search for answers takes me into a homegrown Islamic terror underground, into plots, counterplots, deceptions and love affairs, all leading to an attack on a major NYC landmark.
Our hero, Quinn McShane, similar to author Richard Sanders, spent some time as an unwilling guest of state government before moving on to a career in the media. Through a once-casual acquaintance, he is ensnared in a terrorist conspiracy involving key players who are not quite what you expect. McShane is a bit too gullible a few times, as the classic hard-boiled flatfeet are on occasion (and real people like me are way too often). He also commits the cardinal sin of pulling a gun when he’s not fully prepared to use it. But he redeems himself with decisive action and gutsy gambits at the point of no return.
The terrorists turn out to be a rather pathetic crew–but no less dangerous for their pathos. Not grim, fanatic killers, but more like neurotic delinquents who might have turned to “normal” lives of Big Apple crime, if not surrounded by a powderkeg rivalry between Sunnis and Shiites. Sanders cleverly portrays their ignorance of their own faith, and it is clear that McShane has studied the Koran more than they have.
In keeping with the hard-boiled tradition (and I should point out here that I don’t know whether Sanders intended to follow that tradition), McShane’s romantic involvement during the plot is rather devoid of romance. And the point may not have been romance anyway, but just the reasonable development one could expect between two people in the circumstances McShane and Shala find themselves in. There is minimal emotional investment for either character…or the reader.
I can’t count how many novels I’ve read that were set in New York City. Few of them, however, made that metropolis come alive for this reader the way The Seventh Compass Point of Death does. Sanders evidently knows a lot about NYC, and enlightens while painting the backdrop without overwhelming the reader with details.
One final note: I seldom find the title of a book to influence me far for good or bad. But this title fulfills a savvy double entendre’ that I really, really appreciate. Just one more thing to look forward to when you read this book.
–Henry Brown, author Hell and Gone and Virtual Pulp: Tales of High Adventure
With all the talk, or all the argument, about whether a mosque should be built near Ground Zero, and about anti-Islamic feelings in general, this is a good and timely book to read. While it’s a real, genuine page-turner, its theme is about the value of getting to know the Muslims who live here in America. Some of them are good, some are bad, some are deceived, but they’re all worth knowing. How many books would feature a Muslim character who also has early-stage Alzheimers? It’s a touch of humanity you don’t often see in the depiction of Islamic Americans. And the love scenes between the hero and an Islamic woman are exceptionally tender and touching.
One thing I like about this book is that in many thrillers, the plot features a famous monument that’s about to be attacked, only some miraculous event takes place to prevent it. Well, without giving too much away, that doesn’t happen here. There is no miraculous, last-minute reprieve that prevents the attack from taking place, and the result is very exciting.
I’ve read a couple of other reviews of this book where the critics wished that the opening chapter (which is very bang-bang-bang) had more to do with the rest of the story. I disagree. I think the opening chapter sets up a thematic atmosphere that carries through to the rest of the story, where nothing turns out the way you expected, and no one turns out to be what you thought.
I worked as an Executive Editor at Entertainment Weekly for 11 years and (in two separate stints) at People magazine and people.com for 12 years. I often speak to young journalists and try to use myself as an example for inspiration–a guy who spent time in jail, rehab and a psych ward and somehow went on to become a successful editor at Time Inc. and managed to keep himself sane and alive. I’ve tried to reflect those experiences in these books. My wife, Laurie, and I live in Garden City, N.Y. You can contact me on Facebook.
Just use the slider at right of your screen below to scroll through a complete, updated list of free contemporary Kindle titles, and click on an icon like this one (at right) to read a free sample right here in your browser! Titles are sorted in reverse chronological order so you can easily see new freebies.