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Friday, September 12, 2014

LION of BABYLON (Marc Royce #1) (audiobook) by Davis Bunn


Published in August of 2011 by Christian Audio
Read by Paul Boehmer
Duration: 10 hours, 40 minutes

Veteran writer Davis Bunn (also known as T. Davis Bunn) is known for writing Christian historical fiction and Christian thrillers. Lion of Babylon is a Christian thriller centered on an intelligence operative named Marc Royce. 

Royce is one of the best of the best but he has recently been forced to retire due to the petty whims of his boss, a well-connected adviser to presidents of both parties. But, one Sunday after church Royce is picked up and offered the chance to return to his job in order to investigate the disappearance of one of his closest friends who was on assignment in Iraq. Even though Royce knows almost nothing about the Middle East he is sent to Iraq to solve this mystery.

Once there, Royce is immersed into a world of intrigue and double-dealing. Royce discovers that his friend is involved in a lot more than anyone ever suspected and all sorts of people do not want him to be found including staff members the American embassy and the ruling elite of Iraq. 

As Royce begins to investigate he quickly develops a reputation as a straight-talking man who tells the truth, has no hidden agendas and is simply too tough to be killed. Once he finds an Iraqi Christian man named Sameh el-Jacobi with a similar reputation for telling the truth and searching for truth and justice they begin to find out what was really going on and discover a religious and political movement that no one could have predicted...

I have to rate this audiobook 3 stars out of 5. It takes far too long to get up and running, the "precocious" and perceptive niece of el-Jacobi was far more irritating that she was endearing. The religious movement that begins to make over Iraq in this novel sounded like an incredible fairy tale when contrasted with the real-life religious atrocities (beheadings, crucifixions, mass murders to name a few) that were occurring under the banner of ISIS as I was listening to this audiobook. While I would hope that this book could be a signpost to a possible future of Iraq, realistically,I have to doubt that any of it could ever happen. Sadly, I think the way of ISIS is a much more likely future.

Paul Boehmer's reading of the book, including a good grasp of accents and the ability to differentiate a great number of characters, was solid but did little to assuage the underlying weaknesses of the book.

I rate this audiobook 3 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on September 12, 2014

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