Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Review: Tribe

Oh, for a good book ... one with action,  a layered plot, something interesting like a fresh viewpoint on politics and/or life. I have been struggling recently with finding a 'real' book. By that I mean dialogue, or inner monologue that sounds just like real people would speak, a viewpont that makes me think, "Yes!" or "No!" I read a lot of non-fiction while researching my children's book series and have been disappointed in my efforts to find some fiction to relax with. Many books just do not sound or seem 'real.' Either I don't believe the characters, or I don't like the characters (not a train smash) or else the themes don't grab me. Luckily, reviewing for Readers' Favorite allows me to choose from a wide range of possible me-pleasers. TRIBE is basically an exceptional book. It's the kind of book that is so interesting you wish the author had given you more information, more insight, more detail to chew over while the battle rages on. I will certainly read more of the books this author has already produced.

TRIBE by James Bruno
Meet Harry Brennan, CIA officer and go-to guy on Afghanistan. When his mission in Afghanistan is aborted and he finds himself back in Washington, Harry starts digging until he finds out what everyone doesn’t want him to know. And it comes as no surprise to Harry that it’s all about money, or oil to be exact. As the Western world’s need for oil increases, something must be done to break the stranglehold of the Arab world on oil supplies. A secret deal has been struck to get a U.S.-financed trans-Central Asian oil pipeline to the Arabian Sea built through Afghanistan and Pakistan. This scenario would bring Croesus-like wealth for the oil companies, back-channel cash to politicians and cement American political and economic supremacy in Central Asia at Russia’s expense. It would also force the Afghan allies to share power with the Taliban so pipelines could be built and US troops finally withdrawn. Harry becomes enmeshed in the double and triple cross of the relentless Washington political machine. In a surprise turn of events, Harry finds himself branded a traitor and fleeing for his life from jihadists in Afghanistan and Predator drones in Yemen, a target of his own CIA, while trying to rescue his kidnapped daughter.

This is a brilliant book that is well-paced and -plotted with many interesting layers. The author has created in Harry Brennan a likeable character, with a conscience that compels him to do the right thing. The author is a former insider and the book has undergone US government censorship, which explains the occasional ‘vague’ patch. However, nothing can detract from this riveting read. Harry Brennan’s dry, laid-back inner monologue adds to the appeal of the author’s style. Readers will also enjoy Harry’s pertinent, humorous references to the books, movies, and well-known personalities of popular culture that underscore his worn, somewhat cynical take on politics. The author has an eye for detail and a style of rich description that the eager reader can feast upon. I really enjoyed this book. Highly recommended.

First reviewed for Readers' Favorite