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The Devil's Light: A Novel Hardcover – May 3, 2011
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In his latet thriller, best-selling Patterson tackles the possibility of a nuclear threat from al-Qaeda. Set just prior to the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the novel opens with shadowy al-Qaeda operative Amer Al Zaroor outlining a plan to steal a nuclear weapon from Pakistan. Young CIA agent Brooke Chandler, who was stationed in Lebanon before his cover was blown, begins to suspect that an attack is coming. He alerts his superiors, who are somewhat skeptical about Brooke�s certainties that the bomb is actually intended for Israel, not America, and that al Qaeda will be deploying it from the heart of Hizbullah territory in Lebanon. Patterson does an excellent job of delineating the very complex politics in the Middle East from all sides, but the result is that the book is more informative than it is pulse-pounding. There is far more talking than action. But the threat Patterson imagines is frighteningly realistic, and the result is a thoroughly engrossing look at a complex and volatile region. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The timeliness and alarming intensity of the topic will make this an especially hot book from the author of eight respected international bestsellers. --Kristine Huntley
“A nuclear bomb is about to explode in a major city whose streets will turn bright with the light of a thousand suns. In this brilliant novel, Richard North Patterson slips into t he minds of the mad and messianic and explores what it will mean for all of us if we allow an apocalyptic nightmare to become tomorrow’s history-bending reality.
THE DEVIL’S LIGHT is more than the provocative ruminations of a master story teller. It is a powerful call to action-lest we find ourselves sifting through the radiated wreckage of a truth told too late.
Masterful and illuminating, THE DEVIL’S LIGHT is Richard North Patterson at his best. You will not want, or be able to, put this story down. It is tomorrow’s catastrophe riding on the ‘gleaming wings of science.’”
—William S. Cohen, former Secretary of Defense
“Impossible to dismiss as mere fiction, THE DEVIL’S LIGHT is a terrifying vision of what very well could bring down our world as we know it. With its real-life spies locked in a deathly struggle, this thrillingly told novel is all too real.”
—Robert Baer, former CIA field officer and New York Times bestselling author
“The Devil’s Light will grab you from the very first page and never let go. Patterson’s amazing storytelling is made all the better by his emotionally complex characters. I was intrigued.”
-Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times best-selling author of 206 Bones
“THE DEVIL’S LIGHT dazzles and illuminates, a page-turner that smartly and in breath-taking fashion snaps to life the complexities of the middle east and the struggle of nations and players for power. The books literally barrels along as the stakes grow ever higher. Deeply researched and thoroughly plausible, Patterson's is one of the most intelligent and entertaining thrillers about the world as it is, and the possible world to come.”
—Doug Stanton, author of Horse Soldiers and In Harm’s Way
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A nuclear bomb is stolen in Pakistan by a clever al Qaeda terrorist who intends to drop it on a major city with massive consequences of death and destruction. His intent is to avenge past injustices against his people, make a religious statement, and to further advance terrorist ambitions. Word of the theft and the uncertainty of the intended target prompt a massive international search for the weapon and its caretaker. Two stories are really the foundation of Patterson’s novel. The first involves the theft and subsequent movement of the bomb from Pakistan to a launch point in Lebanon. It’s a rugged and clandestine journey involving many modes of transportation over daunting landscapes while maintaining the secrecy of movement, and involving the death of many involved in the scheme to ensure the efficacy of the final act.
The second story concerns an American secret agent of many faces who, along with a female Israeli Mossad agent, are the primary pursuers who don’t have a lot of information to guide their efforts. In fact the decision they make on where to concentrate their efforts raises a lot of doubt in the minds of high level government officials who are desperate to terminate the plot. The two agents must fight this opposition, clouded by their own uncertainties, and, of course, manage the inevitable love affair that seems to be doomed by their cultural differences.
Patterson is a terrific writer, another of the attorneys who gave up lucrative practices to concentrate on writing. His storyline is mostly credible, his skills are awesome, and the suspense is built by his master craftsmanship. His main characters are realistically portrayed, although the bit players strike me as being too numerous with names that are difficult to remember. But to Westerners, that’s the way of the Middle East; confusing in both name and philosophy.
I enjoyed this book and feel somewhat more informed about the complexities of Islam culture, nuclear terrorism, and the intricate network of the espionage community. The realism created by Patterson’s research efforts is palpable and educational.
Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES
The Devil's Light gave me newfound knowledge thanks to Patterson's heavy research on Middle Eastern terrorism and politics. If, like me, your knowledge here is fairly novice, then you stand to gain a lot. Below is a list of topics that Patterson helped me to better understand:
- Regional distinctions of Pakistan
- Pakistani military and intelligence structure
- Pakistan vs India rivalry
- Hezbollah vs Al-Qaeda
- Complexity of Lebanon
- Lebanese refugee camps
- Everyone's rejection of Palestinians (even by fellow Muslims)
- Israel and the rest of the Middle East
- Hits and misses of US policy post-9/11
- Workings of American CIA
- Workings of Israeli Mossad
- Middle-Eastern smuggling and border crossings
- Contemporary clash between Sunni/Shia
- Nuclear arms proliferation
- How the Muslim world views Iran
Shedding light on these topics was outstanding; however, the writing could have been better. The storyline was a little dry and the character set-ups felt forced. If you already have a strong grasp of the above topics, then I wouldn't bother reading it.
I was hoping for an electric thriller. Even though I didn't get it, I still learned a lot and am glad I read it.