The plot twists in Khalifa's thriller are dizzying, intricate, and entertaining. The negotiations with the post-Mubarak generalship and the description of the Egyptian prison are among the best set pieces of the book, displaying a wry grasp of Egyptian mores and deft pacing. The clever plot twist that turns this novel from a hostage drama to a byzantine account of staggering theft and calculated revenge is appealing.
Foreword Reviews ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
With an international scope and surprising plot twists, A. M. Khalifa storms the thriller scene with his debut novel, Terminal Rage. The action begins with the kind of high-stakes situation usually found at the climax of a novel: twenty-five hostages holed up on the thirty-ninth floor of a Manhattan skyscraper, the threat of four random child care centers wired with explosives, and a proposal to exchange a kidnapped senator's daughter for the release of two terrorists from an Egyptian prison.
Khalifa manages to pull off something that is often difficult to do in the crime-thriller genre--he keeps the novel unpredictable and lays out a plot so twisted that the puzzle picture morphs as more pieces are added. Though the lack of information about Khalifa makes him seem as enigmatic as the villain in his book, his writing speaks for itself. The mixture of clear, concise action, out-of-the-box characters, global settings, and didn't-see-that-coming twists creates a craving for more when the last page is turned.
Terminal Rage by A.M. Khalifa is one of those novels that make me wonder where the author has been before now. He starts out grabbing the reader by the throat in the beginning of the story and not letting go until the very last page. Exhausted but satisfied from such an excellent read, I look forward to more from Khalifa. I like the way the stakes continue to grow with each scene; just when you think it can't get worse, it does. This author has obviously done his research on the topic of terrorism, explosives, and all the other hair-raising elements of this story.