The first thing you notice about Sam Bourne's new book is the statement by Mirror which states he is 'The biggest challenger to Dan Brown's crown'.Sam Bourne, is a pseudonym of Jonathan Freedland,an award winning journalist and broadcaster.He is popularly hailed as Britain's Dan Brown after his first book 'The Righteous Men'.Well is he the answer to Dan Brown?...Well I'll leave that ,to you dear reader, to decide!
The protagonist of the book is Maggie Costello who we first met in Bourne's book 'The Last Testament' as a peace negotiator in the Middle East who is helped in her mission by Uri, her Israeli boyfriend.After failing to bring peace to the region (only if it were that easy to achieve!) and feeling disillusioned ,she is now back in America as a political advisor to President Stephen Baker.She sees him,like the rest of America, as the man to lead the world to a safer and better future.
But soon things start going awry for President Baker as an enemy Vic Forbes surfaces and starts revealing unknown secrets of the President starting with one secret and shortly followed by another.Vic threatens a third revelation which will destroy Baker entirely.But before the third secret is revealed Vic Forbes is found dead.Maggie is called on by the President to help bail him out.What follows is Maggie's (almost) single handed journey to get to the truth.Will the truth end up revealing the real Stephen Baker.Will the new President be able to complete his term in the White House?
The book is, at times, a bit far fetched especially Maggie's almost heroic portrayal,a school friendship gone sour that leads to a revenge so epic and the most far fetched is the group of worldwide bankers who identify potential world leaders (while they are still in school!!) and then go all out to support and help them in becoming one!Of course all this achieved without the person's knowledge!So Baker ends up being one such 'identified' talent.
What is the truth,who is Vic Forbes, why was he murdered and what was the secret that he was about to reveal before he got killed makes this book an exciting page turner.
Inspite of the drawbacks the book manages to keep you hooked till the very last page.If thrillers,political conspiracies interest you then do go ahead and pick up this book!