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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blowback: A Thriller (Scot Horvath #4) by Brad Thor

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.

**SPOILER ALERT**

Every 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.

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