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Weapons of Mass Deception Paperback – May 4, 2015
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About the Author
David Bruns and J.R. Olson are both Naval Academy graduates, US Navy veterans, and Minnesota residents. Weapons of Mass Deception is their first co-authored work. You can find out more about future works by following their Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog at davidbruns.com.
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Top customer reviews
Let me start off by saying that I typically don't read much aside from my chosen genres. As part of a foray into broadening my literary horizons, I read Weapons of Mass Deception: A Novel of Nuclear Terrorism. Being a military thriller, I knew little of what to expect aside from the obvious imagery the title and description allowed. I was in for a pleasant surprise.
To say that this book is well-written undermines the importance of the supposed happenings built on and around what we know and what we don't regarding the topic of WMD. It is, of course, fiction - but it's not just well-written. It is intelligently written fiction. The initial scene sets the tone for future happenings and provides a convincing background for the story to build upon. And it does so in a thought provoking and compelling manner that left me glued to every electron of my kindle's screen.
There are plenty of other people praising the military side of the story - and while it deserves heaps of praise, my focus is elsewhere...
Bruns and Olsen have breathed life into not only the protagonists, but even the antagonists received well deserved attention - I could smell Yusef's nervous sweat and the dry stench of the Russian's vodka-soaked boasts as each discussed their stakes in... well, I suppose you'll have to read it to know.
The story itself is gripping and I found myself wanting to dive deeper into mysteries like Reza - he comes off as a serious badass, is nicely understated in the story, exceptionally articulate and very intelligent. The tie-in with Don and him... wonderful. I really liked how past situations and relationships (if the random run-in qualifies as a relationship) cropped up, both for the good... and not so good. While the story ends in a very satisfying way, there were parts of me that wanted to dive into other areas of the story, to see more of what happened to characters like Reza - either before WMD, or after. Seriously - David, JR - write a Reza book. Like, now.
I've read books by David Bruns before and am very happy I took the chance to read something other than his sci-fi fare.
Though I've yet to read anything else by J.R. Olson, this book has made me a believer.
Weapons of Mass Deception takes a hard look at what could have been, plunges you into the mindset of the fanatical, and thoroughly entertains while weaving a tapestry of thought provoking possibilities. Read it.
The book was excellent overall and my only criticism was a love story that felt clunky and ham-handed, sort of shoehorned into the book. It took away from what was otherwise a rapid, high-intensity crescendo of an ending. I'm looking forward to more books like this from these two authors!
WEAPONS is a high caliber thriller, using a very plausible Iraq War scenario as its core: Saddam’s sons move the country’s nuclear weapons to Iran for safekeeping as US forces begin to move against his regime. They use the same frenemy as welcomed Iraq’s fighter aircraft in the Gulf War, knowing the terrible gamble they are taking.
That frenemy turns out to be three half-brothers. One is a ayatollah, one a military intelligence officer, and one who the other two are able to manipulate into joining a sleeper cell in South America.
The action moves from the Middle East to the US where the action follows main character Brendan McHugh as he graduates from the Naval Academy, becomes a SEAL, and fights in Iraq. By accident he runs into one of the Iranian brothers, beginning an odd connection that underpins the rest of the novel. McHugh’s career is stalled by a serious combat injury, taking him in an unforeseen direction during which he comes full circle back to the Iraq war and the hunt for nuclear weapons.
Some of the best parts of the novel are scenes in which the three Iranian brothers create their private nuclear arsenal with the appropriated Iraqi weapons. They are a team in some ways, but also three separate entities who have different motivations, backgrounds, and personal lives. The set up is plausible and wonderfully described with a great visual narrative.
After such a phenomenal story, the ending wasn’t the big deal I expected but upon reflection probably more in keeping with real life. I hope this writing team of Bruns and Olson has more to offer and the McHugh character is welcome to repeat his starring role. Highly recommended.