4 out of 4 stars
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Devil Among Us by Jack Winnick is an action-packed, suspenseful thriller. It is the second novel in the Lara and Uri Series but can be read as a stand-alone book. The story grips the reader from the first chapter when a bombing incident rips through a New York City Synagogue. Hundreds are killed and injured, and the FBI quickly arrives to investigate. FBI Special Agent Lara Edmomd, a member of the Joint Terrorist Task Force, and Uri Levin, a Mossad agent, happily work together again to unravel this terrorist plot. Initially, the investigation points toward some members of the synagogue. However, after following several leads to Texas, Lara and Uri suspect that Islamic terrorists entered the country and that the “Brooklyn bombing” might have larger, possibly global, implications.
As the mystery unfolds, more and more questions arise. Is this a giant plot to prevent the United States from aiding Israel? Why does Iran have a long-range missile aimed at Tel Aviv? Furthermore, how does this all relate to the New York synagogue bombing? Lara and Uri must connect the dots and figure out who is behind these sinister events.
One aspect of the story that I like is how the narrative shifts perspectives, providing an omniscient point of view and a dynamic, well-rounded narrative. Additionally, the changes in perspective, as well as the skillful integration of flashbacks, add to the character development. Even the minor characters have distinct personalities. This includes Yehudi Bar-lev, the teenager who enters the synagogue before the bombing reveling in his recent Bat Mitzvah, Hadley Parkinson, the no-nonsense, penny-pinching chief of police, President Seymour, the conflicted leader of the United States, and the myriad of anti-Semitic, hate-fueled terrorists. The characters and perspectives are varied, defined, and realistic.
I also appreciate the expertise of the author. Winnick’s knowledge of the Middle East and the geopolitical relationships between the United States and Middle Eastern countries is immense. His integration of and comparison to events that occurred during World War II denotes a vast knowledge of historical power struggles and prejudices throughout the world. This, in addition to his skill in story-telling, make for an engrossing read.
This is an intense international thriller, and the pace is appropriately fast. Bombings, violent fights, missile attacks, terrorist kidnappings, and more saturate this exciting story so much that I found it hard to put down. I love the main characters, Lara and Uri. They are a strong, smart, and funny team that works well together. They are so in tune with each other that they communicate without even speaking, and their chemistry is palpable. Their rekindling relationship is one of the highlights of the book and provides a bright spot in an otherwise dark and dangerous thriller.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is a well-written and well-paced thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It is professionally edited and contains minimal errors and only minor profanity. However, violent and graphic fight scenes make this book inappropriate for young readers. I recommend it to mature readers who appreciate page-turning, suspenseful intrigue.
Devil Among Us
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