- File Size: 782 KB
- Print Length: 272 pages
- Publication Date: May 5, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CNXI1SK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#604,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #2956 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense
- #5693 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thriller
- #11024 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thriller & Suspense
The Alliance Kindle Edition
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Top customer reviews
If I had to cast him a movie I'd say Gabriel Byrne, think "The Usual Suspects."
The writing is solid in the Alliance, but a little too taut for my taste. Klug has a bright future as a suspense novelist but the prose could use a little more imagination. I do have to say when I was finished I found myself on the computer looking up the places and the history referred to in the book. He manages to make a complicated storyline intriguing and accessible.
The thing that makes this book so entertaining is the pace and the plot. Some times in a book you can see where a story is headed fifty pages in, but not here. My son suggested I read it.
Klug’s experience as a TV news reporter, scholar, and U.S. Congressman who has traveled the world, enhance his storytelling skills. The Alliance is a super tale of religious beliefs, otherworld mysticism, and government shenanigans as told from a global, multi-person perspective, with some mind-bending lessons in history, religion, geography.
Where did all that plot come from? Klug chuckles when asked. “I was on a golf trip with my son,” he says, “and I wrote out the plot on an airline baggage card.”
Klug’s main character, Father Pete Farrell, is a no-nonsense Milwaukee priest who teaches at Marquette University. He’s also a former Special Forces army soldier with extensive knowledge about the stolen artifacts trade who is summoned to northern Russia by an old friend, Lev Dukor. Dukor is a Russian police detective and rabbi who’s been assigned to an ugly case. Someone has breached security at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and pilfered priceless artifacts from an exhbition of religious art and relics, including bronzes from the Hindu Angkor Wat temple; Buddhist Afghan coins; a holy Islamic key; an Israeli “kilim” rug; a crown that contains an iron remnant from a nail used for Christ’s crucifixion; and a wooden plank “believed to be one [of] the steps Jesus stood on when Pontius Pilate sentenced Him.”
As if that wasn’t enough, also mysteriously filched is the tooth of the Buddha: “The Buddha, according to some early Buddhist writings, gave detailed instructions for the cremation of his body,” Klug writes. “His funeral pyre was to be built at the intersection of four major roads. Afterward, his disciples gathered four of his teeth and took the to various communities around the world … One tooth is in Sri Lanka … Others are in Beijing, Singapore, and Japan.”
Adding some gore to the proceedings, a powerful Russian Orthodox archbishop and his assistant priest are found butchered and hung inside the Hermitage, and ominous phrases in different languages are scrawled on the museum’s walls using the victims’ blood.
Called in for assistance are Thang Mai, a computer-geek Buddhist monk from Thailand, and Tariq Nasrallah, a Sufi Muslim philanthropist and mystic from Damascus. Farrell, Thang and Tariq race to St. Petersburg to help Dukor solve the gruesome crime. The four men, along with a cynical Interpol female detective, quickly pursue the stolen artifacts, which the crime fighters know will be sold within hours of the theft. Yes, that’s a lot of plot to fit on an airline baggage card, and the complications go on from there.
Klug is apparently not the sort of novelist who suffers from writer’s block. He writes about four pages per day, or about 1,000 to 1,200 words; it took him about three months to produce the first draft of The Alliance. “I write fast; I want to get it down on the page,” he says. “And I see stuff in scenes.”
His experience as a news writer, Klug says, allows him to see scenes in his head that he quickly translates to the page. It’s a third-person, Dan Brown-style of writing, complete with a fast-moving plot. However, it can distance the reader from the characters. “I would like to develop my characters a bit more,” Klug admits.
Still, they are not without charm, partly because, instead of being young virile heroes, they’re 50ish oldsters, real guys with real afflictions, who suffer age-related aches and fish-out-of-water moments. Farrell is the most developed character. Klug says the character is named after Klug’s cousin who was a Jesuit priest, though he may also have a bit of Klug himself and his sense of humor.
Klug admits his writing style leans less literary and more “beach read.”
He ultimately self-published his book using Amazon’s publishing platform, and has not printed hard copies. Klug considers his work suitable for grabbing at the airport en route to a vacation or a business trip. He’s an excellent writer, and the book provides a real thrill ride.
Klug is already planning a sequel to The Alliance. “I always have books running around in my head,” says Klug. “I may have four or five more, plus something in the young adult category, too.” But, he adds, “I don’t do romance.”
(Writer's note: This honest review was originally published after I read the book, interviewed Klug, and posted it on the Third Coast Daily website.)
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