Sunday, June 26, 2011
"The first blow is half the battle." Oliver Goldsmith
Former CIA operative, Robert Bayer's first novel is crammed with details. It tells the story of what could have happened behind the scenes of 9/11 and what might have happened if people listened to Max Waller. Waller had been a CIA officer for ages. He still has a vivid recollection of 1984 when Bill Buckley, the CIA chief of Beirut, Lebanon, was kidnapped and decapitated.
The time moves to June 21, 2001. Max is given a comfortable job at Langley, keeping track of other long-time agents before their retirement.
Max is bothered by a photo he discovers in which Osama bin Laden is next to a Western looking person whose head is cut out of the photo. There is also another Arab in the photo. When Max shows the photo to one of his associates, the man winds up dead and people begin following Max.
When Max evades his followers, he's pulled in and questioned. His bosses wonder why his prints are on the photo found on the dead man and based on trumped up charges, Max is put on administrative leave.
He remains undaunted and calls a number of contracts from the past. Action continues and in this shady world of espionage, the complications and puzzles would have made John Le Carre proud. Max continues his investigation while being followed by members of a corporation called Applied Science.
I thought that the idea of the book was excellent but never came to like Max. The action is in waves with some drama and then many details. It is almost as if the author was attempting to give the reader extra details in place of more character build up. Given that this is a debut novel, I would read another novel by this author because the material is there for catching my attention. I feel that John Le Carre fans will enjoy this novel.
Check out my Amazon review.