3 out of 4 stars
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The benevolent Chancellor Organization, with its vast network of professionals, is busy handling the cases of people who are victims of life’s heavy blows. The head of the organization, Duke Chancellor, together with his loyal ally, friend, and right-hand man, Joe, go beyond the imaginable to help the poor and vulnerable people in their world. Sammy, their new intelligent recruit and a seasoned computer geek, uses his expertise to do ‘special’ communication with individuals as directed by his bosses, Joe and Duke. Little do they know that their country, the United States of America, would be in dire need of their services to solve a 9/11-like incident at Fresno. Meanwhile, life seems normal with Sasha, Duke Chancellor’s niece, offering her best talent, her magnificent vocal abilities, to entertain people in different places across America, including Fresno. On the other hand, Rasheed Shirani the leader of a big terrorist group from Pakistan is busy putting all the pieces together to yield one of the world’s most terrifying terrorist attacks at Fresno.
Like water flowing from the top of a mountain through a long meandering river to the ocean, The Fresno Incident flows in a similar manner. Philip L. Rettew lets the reader gain some understanding of the main characters, their way of thinking, and their daily lives before creating events that bring all the characters together in what mimics real-life situations. I liked this feature of the novel the most. Some of the most interesting characters include Professor Holloway who needed to help one of his students, Janice Smith, to free her mother’s life from the greedy claws of a senator who was blackmailing her. Sammy, the computer geek, did a fantastic job in the most hilarious manner. When pure coincidence drops Jake Lewis in the audience of the talented Sasha, the reader is introduced to one of the strong threads of this interesting novel, as something beyond the normal arises between the two that lasts through the entire novel.
The thing I disliked about this novel is the presence of a graphic sexual scene. In my opinion, the novel would be just fine without that particular scene which I think could underwhelm many readers as well. It was totally not necessary. I also did not like the repetition of characters’ descriptions whenever several of them met. I did not like it when a character took almost a page to give his/her contribution in a conversation.
The theme of the law of the jungle, which many people may call ‘survival for the fittest’, coupled with the great minds of the Chancellor Organization that believe that all human beings should be treated well and all evil should be dealt with, dominated the novel. It traverses all religious beliefs and belief systems. This leaves no room for religious extremists irrespective of the religion. I believe that the author’s intention to promote goodness for all while dealing with all manner of evil was well delivered through this piece of literary work.
I give The Fresno Incident three out of four stars due to the reasons noted above. Undoubtedly, the book was professionally edited. I recommend it to readers who like to explore other people’s thoughts around terrorist attacks and how to deal with them. Crime investigation enthusiasts will find it interesting.
The Fresno Incident
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