4 out of 4 stars
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When I picked East Wind, 2nd edition by Jack Winnick for review, I was looking forward to a narration of a terrorist attack and the hunting of the perpetrators by authorities. Once I got reading, I realized what a treat the book was. The author delivered more than I expected. The book is a fantastic action-packed thriller that kept me intrigued to the last page.
The story starts out with one of the victims just before the first bomb goes off, levelling the Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles. Mr. Winnick piques the reader's interest right there. Enter Uri Levin, the Mossad agent assigned to work with the FBI in tracking the terrorists. Uri has experience in covert missions, and had provided key information from one of his missions, hence the recommendation to work on the case. Lara Edmond is the FBI computer whiz who cracked the communication channel used by the terrorists. She and Uri are tasked with establishing who the Hezbollah operatives are and cracking their plans.
The author introduces the protagonists and antagonists, giving sufficient back story of each character. Walid, the Pakistani computer science student and Hossein, the Iran national whose postgraduate knowledge in nuclear engineering is key, are at the forefront in delivering Hezbollah's wrath on the USA. From the Marina explosion to finding out the perpetrators plans of blowing up more bombs in different American cities, unless the USA ceases aid to Israel, the story keeps the reader guessing. Will the terrorists win? Will Israel have to deploy Ekdikeo or will Uri and Lara's team save the day?
Being the first book I have read by the author, I am truly impressed by his skills. Mr. Winnick spins the story with ease, drawing the reader on. He changes the character's view-point seamlessly without leaving the reader hanging. That gave the story perspective from the authorities and terrorist's angles. Not only did the story flow well, but I learnt a lot about Israel, the Middle East struggle, America's part in the liberation of Israel, and a host of other historical facts.
From the story I was able to get a glimpse of how terrorist networks work, from recruitment of followers to instigating attacks. This was eye-opening and it honestly shook me. Living at a time when the world has been witness to the works of al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and different terrorist groups, we can appreciate the work authorities do in thwarting the reckless killing of innocent people.
The book is not all about investigations and fighting terrorism. Mr. Winnick softens the narrative by including romance between Uri and Lara. The two agents experience a shared attraction that blossoms with time. I was only happy to read about their dinner dates as a break from the tension of hunting terrorists. This also served as an inkling into the author's writing prowess.
Due to some of the violence mentioned in the story, the book would not be suitable to young readers or people who abhor gory scenes. There are subtle nuances of sexual attraction and one erotic scene that is not explicit in nature. Bearing these facts in mind, a mature audience will be best suited to read the book. A good job was done on the editing as there were few grammatical errors. I have no qualms awarding East Wind a 4 out of 4 stars rating. For readers who enjoy this book and the satisfying ending, be sure to check out the next books in the series.
East Wind, 2nd edition
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