Cries of the Eagle, by Michael E. Nathanson ISBN 9781498458498
Two out of five stars
In this book the author shows some promise as a writer, but is far too wordy and the dialog between the FBI agents often degenerates to the level of a young adult novel. It is very difficult to believe that FBI agents really talk like that to each other.
The plot is one found in many modern thrillers, a terror cell of radical Islamists is operating in the United States. The story opens with one of their suicide bomber operatives (Ibrahim) detonating a massive car bomb at a high school in Dallas, Texas. His Muslim parents are Ali and Najid and they are shocked at the news as well as their receipt of a large amount of money in tribute to his martyrdom.
Two FBI agents (the male Bolton and female Hanson) from Texas interview Ali and Najid and form a relationship with them, even though they are lying to the agents. A Muslim (Aziz) that knew Ibrahim sneaks into his apartment and finds materials that tells him that Ibrahim was the bomber. He goes to the FBI and behaves in a manner that is very much the amateurish Junior G-Man. The FBI agents respond in kind.
The worst aspect of this novel is when Ali and Najid have their lives directly threatened and Bolton is speaking to Ali. He talks to Ali in a manner where he is trying to convert him to Christianity. It is very poorly done, all the while claiming that he is not trying to do so. The source of this absurdity is revealed when you read the last sentence of the blurb about the author on the back cover.
“He lives in Texas with his wife, Jan, and they joyfully serve together in the marriage ministry at their church.”
The idea that a seasoned FBI agent that is trying to protect the life of a valuable asset would spend time trying to perform such a conversion is ludicrous. Of course, in this novel, it works and the conversion is quick and easy.
With repetitive and simplistic dialog between nearly all the characters, this book could have been much shorter. This would tighten the plot and make it more realistic.