When a dirty-bomb explodes at Chicago’s Union Station killing hundreds of commuters taking the train home from work, Maggie Curran is one of the deceased. Her husband, Mike, an Iraqi war veteran, disillusioned in the government’s ability to protect its citizens confers with a group of like-minded ex-military types and scientists who decide to do something about it themselves.
Starting with the revenge for his wife’s death Curran arranges for the one living bomber to be assassinated, brings into his confidence the money-men and the group decide to strike back at the Muslim world during Ramadan, and launch a nuclear missile near Mecca to show that the Western world also has the opportunity to strike deep in the homeland of it’s perceived enemies.
One member of the inner circle has other plans for the bomb, deciding to strike at Mecca itself and the groups plan gets unraveled as the seat of power changes at the last moment. Will the conscience of the bombers win out or will the dissent member wreak havoc in the Middle East.
In a thought provoking counterpoint from both sides of the world that leaves us with eye-opening propositions, Bowen shows his expertise in the fields of military intelligence and international security. The political philosophies expressed appear to be meant as what is needed to force both sides to give consideration to the final option but also shows what could happen if that same solution was left to the well-meaning but ignorant masses disenchanted with what our government is doing. As the suspense builds I found myself with just as many questions as the book leaves answers, and I think they could have been addressed in the portions of the book that cried out for more dialogue. It is used effectively in places, but to delve more deeply into the family situations, into what makes each of the characters act the way they do, I would like to have read a little more discourse. This lack of dialogue in key places does not distract from the melodrama of this thriller however I felt it would have enhanced the storyline if we read what they said rather than being told how the characters felt.