4 out of 4 stars
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Eddie Moskowitz was at work as usual at the Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant when he inspected the goldfish that were kept there and found them dead. (As a way to ensure the water was safe, the goldfish were kept in water from the filtration system that was refreshed daily.) Then, he observed several dead birds outside around the holding tanks. In a panic, experts were called in to investigate. Eventually, it was believed that the water was contaminated with polonium, an exceedingly rare type of toxic radioactive material that is difficult to discover. A sock was found in the water that was identified as being made in Iran, causing them to believe this was an Iranian terrorist attack.
Lara Edmond and Uri Levin were on their vacation in Los Angeles when they received a call from Bret Williams from the FBI office. Lara is a former FBI agent who presently works with Uri for Israel’s Mossad. They possess a lot of experience working on cases dealing with international terrorists and are requested to assist in this one. Because the FBI agents are extremely concerned that this is just the beginning of Iran’s plans, Lara and Uri are briefed, given new identities, and sent into danger into separate areas of Iran to gather intelligence.
Waterworks by Jack Winnick is book five in the series about Lara and Uri; however, it is a standalone story. It is a fast-paced novel that gets the reader’s attention from the first page and keeps them enthralled until the end of the tale. Written from the third-person point of view, both Lara and Uri are followed as they infiltrate the intelligence sources in Iran. It is a chilling account of what could happen in the U.S. without the constant counterintelligence to ward off attacks like this. Jack Winnick is “Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at Georgia Tech” and has “a lifetime of scholarship on Middle East affairs.” Subsequently, he is uniquely qualified to write this book. As he says, “The technology is also real—and available.” This makes it even more frightening.
With so much to admire about this book, it is hard to pick out my favorite thing. However, one thing I particularly admire is the author’s attention to detail without being boring. Sometimes upon reading a spy novel, I’m left confused about how we got from point A to point B. This is not the case here. Everything is spelled out clearly in a straightforward language: obtaining new identities, entering Iran, and acquiring the necessary jobs to get access to the needed intelligence. All the details were impeccably laid out, and the questions were resolved by the conclusion of the story.
The sole thing I wasn’t crazy about was how easy it was for Lara to have access to confidential information. I think, realistically, it would have taken longer and been a lot harder to gain the confidence of superiors. However, this was a minor thing and didn’t affect my overall rating.
Because I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end and only detected a few minor errors, Waterworks achieves a rating of four out of four stars. It is enthusiastically recommended for readers who appreciate fast-paced thrillers dealing with spies and terrorism. No sex other than kissing was seen in the book, and only infrequent minor profanities were observed. However, there is violence in the book, although it isn’t very descriptive. Because the subject of terrorism may provoke anxiety and because of the violence, I do not recommend it for children. Sensitive readers need to be aware of those things as well. This is definitely written from a pro-USA and pro-Israel viewpoint. If you find that offensive, you might want to look elsewhere.
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