4 out of 4 stars
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Uri Levin (41) is one of the few members of the Metsada, the Special Operations arm of the Israeli Mossad. FBI’s “Golden Girl”, Lara Edmond (31), speaks fluent Arabic and is a computer whiz in charge of primary electronic terrorism traffic. Under the imminent threat of nuclear bombing from Hezbollah operatives on U.S. soil, the two agents join hands to thwart the terrorists’ plans to put an end to U.S. support for the Zionist State.
At the early age of 16, Walid Jahangiri falls under the mesmerizing influence of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Hezbollah, the armed “Party of God”. After finishing college in Pakistan, he immigrates to America where he gets his Master’s Degree in Computer Sciences and settles in Los Angeles with his girlfriend Sarah. For years indoctrinated by Hezbollah, Walid opens his eyes to another version of the truth about Western culture. What will he choose when summoned to carry the small fission bomb put together by Hossein Souriani from Iran? Will Walid remain faithful to his original beliefs or will he change sides and help Uri and Lara in their efforts to save innocent lives?
In the desert, the East Wind brings dust, plague, and famine. In Jack Winnick’s espionage thriller, the East Wind brings life-and-death situations and a countdown race to stop the terrorist ploy that could eventually force the Israelis to unleash “Ekdikeo”, a wholesale nuclear attack on the main hostile capitals of its antagonistic neighbors. The 266-page novel has all it needs to make for an exciting read. Tension builds up gradually towards a climactic confrontation in the final chapters.
From my point of view, there are two main things that save this book from the otherwise predictable intrigue of a typical spy novel. Firstly, the author does a great job of switching the narrative perspective from one character to another, no matter if they belong to the defenders of justice or to those who threaten with chaos and destruction. Secondly, the characters have great background stories that make them quite realistic and help the readers understand the reasons behind their actions. What I liked most were precisely those moments when there was such a respite in the plot development. For example, Uri and Lara often exchange both personal and secret intelligence stories that do not only bring them closer, but also give the readers the chance to get to know them better.
Doing justice to its genre, East Wind by Jack Winnick would certainly be a good read for those who enjoy thrillers based on terrorist threats, the joint action of government forces, high-level treason, and a budding romance amidst all the impending tragedy. Apart from a chilling scene during Uri’s mission in Lebanon, there are no other graphic scenes in the novel. Similarly, the characters do not use offensive language and there is only one erotic scene that is not extremely detailed. The editing errors are reduced to a handful of mostly punctuation mistakes. All things considered, I am giving this novel 4 out of 4 stars. It ultimately got me interested enough to be willing to follow Lara and Uri’s future adventures in the sequel, Devil Among Us.
East Wind, 2nd edition
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