Cloaked as a fast-moving tale of a lawyer’s journey into espionage, threats to national security and terrorism, this is simply a surprisingly enjoyable read.
Jake Mandel unknowingly becomes involved in a waking nightmare that forever ends his world suddenly and brutally. Survival is immediate along with finding the truths of why his government, terrorists, and old friends have become enemies.
Although Jake Mandel’s entitled life was a common cultural story, Gallen’s story pulls the deviations that became the norm.
We begin to understand the reasonings of the young mind of Arab American Wally Orvis and his cultural redefining. Now comes the story of how a young American struggle with an Arab cultural awakening. Wally Orvis arrives to an overwhelming need to turn from a balanced life to embrace the nightmarish chaos of terrorism. And he becomes the focus that converges the seemingly disparate storylines.
My take away from this work is that this is a fictional treatise on how the ethics of greed and cultural disenfranchisement creates what we fear most…. societal chaos. A divergence from acceptance of established culture. This work paints in colors that makes this growing cultural disease real. But the read is enjoyable as it takes the observer along on an emotional and decadent transnational rollercoaster ride. It’s classic James Bond.
My favorite character in this work is Jake Mandel, because he’s compelled to search for truths even as a high-priced fugitive. Young enough to still enjoy pleasures of the flesh, but as a seasoned expensive legal he knows the deadly pitfalls of too much power. One wonders if not for the sudden turn in events that pushes him into a world of terrorism would Jake have remained in his less than idyllic life… that took him a lifetime to create.
Transitioning from first person to second the miasma of characterizations sparkle to perfection. As the tale unfolds so does the transparencies of disparate lives. I enjoyed the reveals that were like leylines leading to the plot and its outcomes. Each chapter held my interest. Grabbing hold of the threads of each event, you find yourself halfway through the novel still immersed in caricature. And “As-Salamu Alaykum” begins to hold new meaning.
My only critique
I felt the ending wrapped up too quickly and a bit anticlimactic after a rollercoaster ride to the conclusion. But in no way, does it take away from this gifted storytelling.
“We came to Golan because David wanted to live on the frontier. He used to joke that God didn’t give Tel Aviv to the Jews. If you want to be a good Jew, you have to live on the frontier.” – Betrayed
Jake Mandel is a lawyer living in a wealthy world of entitlements, elegant luxuries, and power. In a moment all changed making of him a fugitive. he finds himself jetting from country to country – immersed in a world of espionage and secrets. But even in chaos comes dulcet emotional tones of a once in a lifetime love. Loss becomes gains and a life he once written in stone – breaks away to reveal what is of real importance.
Jake Mandel is the rich and powerful west coast lawyer.
Genre: Spies, Espionage, Mystery
My rating is 5/5 stars