Based on some dubious assumptions
Published by Pocket Books in 2006.
Brad Thor's thriller Blowback delivers as far as the international
thrills and chills go. Main character Scot Harvath is a counter-terrorism
expert on the tail of an Al-Qaeda operative who catches wind of
something new - a plague that is being resurrected from the ancient past
to be used against all non-Muslims.
Harvath pursues his leads
across Europe and the Middle East - that part is lots of fun. I have
issues with Thor's treatment of Muslims and his main thesis.
Muslim in the book, with the exception of two, is either a brazen
hypocrite or a crazed religious fanatic. One of the good Muslim is
killed by the virus being spread the fanatics and the other is shot by
the hypocrites. There are literally dozens of Muslims in the book - and
only two are decent people?
Thor's book rests on the premise that
the Ottoman Empire is trying to resurrect itself by using fanatics like
Al-Qaeda and the Wahhabis to weaken modern Muslim countries like Saudi
Arabia. The problem with that is this: most Muslims openly hated the
Ottoman government. Why? The Sultan (head of the secular government)
also gave himself the title of Caliph (head of the religious structure).
That is a giant no-no in Islam - Islam must not be subservient to a
government. Also, there was a bit of ethnic dislike thrown in since the
Ottomans were Turks and there has often been a pro-Arab stance in
Al-Qaeda and the Wahhabis.
****END OF SPOILERS****
So, great thrills marred by laughable conspiracy and hopeless stereotyping of Muslims.
I give this one 3 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on February 21, 2007.
"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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