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Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Silent Man

I’m not a big fan of the "thriller" genre. That’s not to say though that I would never ever pick one up when I’m scanning the new novel shelf of our local public library. Alex Berenson’s thriller The Silent Man caught my eye. I read it.
The radical militants of the Middle East want to get their national, religious and personal revenge against the Americans. Their plot is obtain the elements needed to build a nuclear weapon, smuggle it into America and explode the device in Washington, D.C. How might they bring off such a scheme? How might our government's agents stop them? Alex Berenson's third John Wells thriller pits his CIA superhero against just such a plot Here is where I usually have trouble with thrillers. The super hero part is usually so hokey. On that point this book was to thrillers what reality TV is reality. Popular drivel. I'd already seen James Bond in the movies. I will say this tale is well written though in a descriptive sense. Berenson strings his plot together well and his adjectives do grab ones attention. The really intriguing part is where the author provides a realistic, detailed account of how the terrorists swipe two decommisioned nuclear "gadgets" from a Russian military base and transport them to the United States. There they are taken apart to patch together a nuclear bomb that could work. This is the part that caught my attention. I kept wondering if this kind of information should be available at Barnes and Noble.

We know in the end that superhero John Wells will save the world from a nuclear holocaust. What we don’t know is how plausable is the "science" behind the plot. Can a couple of amateurs build a nuclear weapon with a little luck, the right material and the internet. I think I became more and more convinced as I read this sophisticated account of the nuclear plot that it was not so far fetched as I thought. . Thrillers are supposed to be scary. It was. And that's what made it worth reading. In the real world lets hope our intelligence agencies are more prepared and aware than they were on 9/11.


L. D. said...

Yes, I hope this guys creativity gives our government creative ideas to protect us from such things.

Montanagirl said...


Arkansas Patti said...

Hum, it did not recognize me and I couldn't comment. Will try again.
I do like thrillers as there is always a grain of possibility in them to keep us unnerved.

NCmountainwoman said...

I used to read every Robert Ludlam book that he wrote. Now I really don't care much for such thrillers. Light mystery is good enough for me.

walk2write said...

Sounds like the author is trying to bring back some of the drama of earlier decades. Russia's in the mix again?