2 out of 4 stars
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Ashman, The Tunnel Runner, has a reputation as a hero and a killer due to his kill rate in the Vietnam War and his work in espionage and secret government operations. Presently, Ashman is on a ruthless mission to avenge the death of his beloved wife, Maya. Maya’s murder was through an explosion that blew her head off. Ashman has nothing left to live for and dedicates his life to putting the pieces together and dishing out his version of justice to everyone involved. He sets out to punish the killers, including their children, grandparents, and even pets.
Lucas Rook is an accomplished private investigator and a retired NYPD officer after twenty years of service. He is often haunted by the death of his twin brother and battles feelings of guilt. His love, Catherine Wren, keeps him grounded, and his business brings in the money. His cases at first seem harmless, like a gambling art dealer and a child custody case. However, things quickly morph, and soon Lucas is knee-deep in a complicated and intriguing assignment. His world turns more curious and mysterious when he unwittingly becomes Ashman’s target. Their encounter threatens to be violent with monumental consequences. Are they on the same side or enemies?
Terrorists In Wonderland is a fascinating read that includes realistic depictions of a spy and espionage world. Richard Sand exquisitely describes every detail from the war Ashman went through to Lucas’s investigative world and diverse clientele. The accurate information is also a testament to the author’s commitment and excellent research. The book also includes humorous metaphors and sarcasm through Lucas and his operations, making it an enjoyable and funny read. The characters are also distinct and memorable due to their descriptions. For instance, it is easy to perceive Ashman’s no-nonsense personality or Argider’s, one of Lucas’s clients, shrewd personality.
My favorite aspect of the novel is the strong female presence led by Catherine, Attorney Alice Loebel (a headstrong lawyer with a pivotal role in Ashman and Lucas’s lives), and even Maya in her death. The women have a lasting presence and directly influence the unfolding of events. However, the character introduction was poor and my least favorite thing about the book. As a character appears, the author refers to them with different names (first, last, nicknames) at every appearance /mention. Therefore, it takes time to realize the names and information are of one person. Additionally, the constant shift in narrations between first and third added to the confusion. For instance, the sentence, ‘When the Tunnel Runner had what he needed, he read a couple of newspapers and then rolled by the hardware store where Bernsie had tried to take you out’. It begins in third-person narration and ends in first.
Despite having minimal spelling errors, the book still needs another round of editing to reconcile the narrations and correct the tenses. Moreover, the book does not live up to its title and synopsis. Ashman and Lucas meet late in the story, and their encounter is not as satisfying. The wonderland theme is also not as distinct. As a result, I give the book a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. The language employed is simple but contains significant profanities and sexual innuendos. There is also potentially offensive language when referring to Arabs and Africans in general. I recommend Terrorists In Wonderland to mature readers looking to dive into a world of government conspiracies, incredible crimes, and unrelenting revenge.
Terrorists In Wonderland
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