Welcome to a Sunday and the growing number of people that follow this day of posting. We have a double header for you, two novels at opposite ends of the spectrum but both provocative and worthy. The Target by Bill Bowen was an emotionally challenging read for me. Most that know me think I am challenged in many ways, but this novel made me take pause and think a bit more than others that I had read in this genre to date. Here is the synopsis and the author’s biography:
“Mike Curran is an ordinary American - the son of a South Side Chicago cop, a Notre Dame graduate, an Iraq War veteran, and a LaSalle Street stock broker. When he is a victim of a dirty bomb attack at Union Station, he gives up on the government and embarks on a journey from despair and revenge to a striking demonstration of deterrence. In contrast to Osama bin Laden hiding in Afghanistan, Mike and a group of like-minded associates enjoy tremendous resources and freedom of action. His greatest problem is with his conscience.
Aisha al-Rashid, a moderate descendant of Arabian royalty and the sister of one of the Union Station bombers, serves as a thoughtful counterpoint, as her path exposes her to the American’s plot. “
“Bill Bowen holds degrees in foreign affairs from the United States Air Force Academy and Georgetown University. He has served in military intelligence and in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs ... at the intersection of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the President's National Security Advisor.
The Target reflects Bowen's concern about the combination of terrorism and nuclear weapons and the missing element of deterrence in that equation. It is his hope that the leaders of Iran, Pakistan, and other countries will understand the danger of uncontrolled proliferation.
Bowen lives in San Francisco with his wife, Sue, where he enjoys the political theater of local and state government and shares his thoughts at www.RightinSanFrancisco.com. “
The events laid out in the novel by Bowen, the terrorist act itself, was not earth shattering for me. The hook for me was the way he split this novel into so many different viewpoints and got me as a reader to understand the mindset of each participant in the action. Did I like all that I read? No, I found some of it disturbing, but I feel that was part and parcel of the novel. Crawling into the head of a jihadist has to be a scary place to be, let alone to understand the grief and pain of a person that has lost a loved one to a senseless act of terrorism. Basically Bowen lays three sides to this: the terrorist, the surviving spouse of the terrorist act, and then the young woman that has walked in both worlds and sees things in a different way than both of them. Intense, amazing, captivating, and disturbing all at the same time.
I made mention of this the other day on my blogtalk radio show The G-ZONE with a guest as we were discussion self-publishing. Does anyone really think a traditional publisher would touch this well thought out and executed novel with a ten foot pole? I personally think not, but it is a worthy read. That for me is the beauty of self –publishing right now: stories like this get to see the light of day and get told. The perspectives of all three characters, as told and woven by someone with a background in this area, has an impact and a voice that is singular and resonates. Want to become challenged like I am, pick this up and show this author how special his work is.
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