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Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

Witch HuntWitch Hunt by Ian Rankin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book on terrorism by Ian Rankin. The book starts with the sinking of two ships along the channel, one on the French side and one on the British side by a lone female anarchist who has been labelled as “The Witch” by the British Intelligence. The secret agencies in Britain start their investigation. Before they can figure out much an Arab banker is murdered.

This brings into picture a key character who is a retried officer. His daughter has been killed in a terror attack plausibly launched by The Witch. He has encountered the Witch in an earlier investigation which he had taken into his hands and hand failed. He is brought back from retirement to support the rookies in charge of the investigation. This character bears a resemblance to John Rebus in that he is a nonconformist.

The target seems to be one of the several heads of state who are expected to converge on London for a conference.

The book covers investigation on both sides of the channels with a little romance thrown in between rookie the secret agents from both sides. The Witch leads them on a wild goose chase, but finally is caught trying to get even for a personal reason.

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A Most Wanted ManA Most Wanted Man by John le Carré
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Even when writing a novel based in a different era (post 9/11) John Le Carre manages to engage ones attention to what he wishes to say. The smells of John Le Carre are all over, but the perfume of “The Spy who came from the cold” is missing.
The book is about a chechnyian Muslim youth (son of a Russian Red Army General, now dead) suspected terrorist who comes to Hamburg to start a new life with the help of a Banker.
The British banker in question runs a bank that accepted investments from the Russian Red Army personnel in his father’s time to help the British recruit the Russians for information from the iron curtain. The Chechnyan youth happens to be the bastard son of one of such a Red Army personnel and he has come to get the bankers help in trying to finance his medical studies without staking a claim to his blood inheritance.
The authorities is convinced that he is a terrorist, but a kind lawyer working with an institute for destitute immigrants along with a ex secret agent try to secure him his freedom.
The banker refuses to do so unless the claimant makes a claim to the inheritance as a way to stall the claim. At this juncture a peace loving Muslim preacher based in Hamburg is introduced. This person diverts some of the funds that he collects for the various charities to different “terrorist” organizations round the world. The services of this preacher are sought to guide the Chechnyian youth as to how best the youth can utilize the funds that he would be in possession of for the good use of the Umma.
And then begins the denouement. Read the book to get the rest of the story.
All in all a good John Le Carre read for his fans, and not to be picked up by others who have not read is earlier books. Reading this book would deter one from reading his other books which will not do justice to his earlier writings.

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