When I was asked to review this book, I was utterly delighted. Political thrillers are always fascinating, regardless of the fact that they are fictional because they often draw on direct parallels from real life events. I found this book to be exactly the same with a believable, engaging story that keeps you turning the pages (which is exactly what I did, leading me to read it in 2 days!)
The story focuses on American politics, which is always a rich topic that usually invites discussion and opinions. Immediately, the reader is launched into the story where the current president is dealing with the aftermath of a devastating terrorist attack carried out in America.
Terrorism is a subject which often incites strong responses, within media and literature, therefore authors are always walking a fine line between captivating a reader and inciting them to close the book and walk away. It is often easier to stay ignorant to certain issues and in a way, this book addresses that notion and does so in a way which is enlightening and sobering. Though the book is an intriguing read, it is for the reason above that the reader may find some of the language uncomfortable although this fits in with the context of the story and characters.
The story is told through various viewpoints but is clear and concise which allows the reader to keep up regardless of changing characters. Perspectives are from members of the American congress and how they address the act of terrorism and the immediate threat which follows it. There is also the perspective of the men behind the attack as well as a young boy living in Baghdad who is feeling frustrated with the deterioration of his country. Although it feels as first as though these people and events are not related, their stories become interwoven and fall into place neatly as the story unfolds. This is another credit to the faultless writing by Spivak.
In addition to this, every few chapters, there are excerpts from the eyewitness account ‘On the Conquest of Constantinople’. These excerpts resonate with events occurring within the story and adds a historical context which makes the book feel more authentic.
Something that struck me as I was reading, was the clever way in which Spivak injects humour and profound words throughout the story.
“What intrigued him wasn’t just the heroic image of Sir Edmund Hilary. but the realisation that the mountaineer would never have made it to the summit without his Sherpa. He knew there were moments in life when you needed someone next to you, carrying your oxygen tank.” (Chapter 4)
The book contains many different themes which directly correlate with issues faced in our own society today such as; homphobia and prejudice against gay relationships, treason and the pressure within governments to make the right decisions.
“The government is just too shaky at the moment and something like this could topple it” (Chapter 22)
I really enjoyed how raw and honest the book was with many of these subjects and I felt I was gaining a transparent insight into American politics myself.
The use of media is referenced frequently throughout the story and a unique aspect of the book is how some of the story is told through various newspaper articles. I felt this was meaningful to the reader as the altruistic ways of the press regarding sensitive subjects are often commented upon within society.
Finally, the conclusion to the story does not leave the reader disappointed. There is nothing worse than finishing a book and feeling that there are loose ends which still need to be tied up, especially when there are a multitude of characters.
If you are looking for a thrilling page-turner that leaves you wanting more and helps to deepen your understanding of American politics then look no further. Spivak has it all and more.
If you want to read the book then follow the link: The American Crusade – Mark Spivak
Special thanks to www.markspivakbooks.com and the publishing company associated with the book www.tckpublishing.com