Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Lion and The Sun

The Lion and the Sun: A Novel  --by Richard Badalamente

406 pages
Footnotes/Endnotes: No
Suitable for eReaders: Yes
4 Stars

This was a step out of my usual fiction read, and I'm very happy I took the step. Spy stories don't usually keep me reading for a variety of reasons (suffice it to say, I'd never have been a successful spy), but this book grabbed me and I began to resent when forced to put it down to take care of necessary business!

The hero, Daniel Conte, is wonder of wonders, human! He hurts, he feels, he has emotion (but not overly so). He is tracking down some stolen plutonium that the Russians don't want to admit is gone. He comes face to face with assassins, his Russian counterpart who becomes, well, a friend. There are flashbacks to the time when the Shah was overthrown and the American Embassy stormed, and those flashbacks are very, very important. And interesting, especially to those of us who remember that time.

Most of the story takes place in Europe and the Middle East, and the author's work as a senior analyst in national security with a focus on nuclear nonproliferation, counterintelligence, and counter terrorism certainly adds that oft-missing realism to this story. Plus it's obvious the author has visited the places (or at least some) he describes..

A fun read, a page burner, and a job well done, Mr. Badalamente! I can hardly wait to read the next book.

(Have you ever noticed they are read faster than the authors can write them?)

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