4 out of 4 stars
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Inspired by the 1988 kidnapping of U.S. Marine Colonel William Higgins, the historical fiction novel One Day in Lebanon: A Hostage Rescue is the third book in the Laura Messier Files series by Lawrence Scofield.
En route from a secret meeting with Syrian President Assad, two American diplomats are kidnapped. CIA Associate Director Steven Tilton travels to the Bahamas to request the assistance of former CIA operative Laura Messier, who also happens to be his ex-wife. Despite her personal differences with Steve, Laura agrees. She and her business partner, former French Intelligence Jean Broussard select a highly qualified team including a retired CIA field agent, a former marine officer, and an ex-military Lebanon expert. After investigating, the team's suspicions that the hostage location may be across the border in Lebanon, are confirmed by satellite surveillance. A Presidential Finding is issued by the White House engaging a covert military hostage rescue mission by Laura and her team, but will it be too late?
The book is well written, professionally edited, thoroughly researched, and supported by a cast of multilayered characters. I particularly like the inclusion of a strong female protagonist. Laura is not only part of the team, but she is also the leader. Though considered beautiful, Laura is described as smart, confident, authoritative, and brave. However, she wrestles with her fair share of inner demons adding depth to her character and making her more relatable to readers.
Despite the author's meticulous attention to detail in most aspects of the book, I found it curious that he selected the same first name for two of the characters. While Jack Mason is a retired CIA agent and Jack Postl is a computer expert, both are employed by Laura. When Mason is referred to as "Jack" in one paragraph, and then immediately addresses Postl by his first name, it's confusing, to say the least. Given the complicated plot, and since there are quite a few characters to keep straight, it's hard to understand why the author didn't choose a different name to avoid potential confusion. Even so, this issue didn't detract from my overall reading enjoyment.
I'm pleased to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Though the third book in the series, it easily stands on its own. Readers who haven't read the previous books can delve into it without experiencing any gaps in the plot. However, they may prefer to add the entire series to their reading lists once they've enjoyed this one. Due to profanity and plot-related violence, it is intended for a mature audience. I recommend the book to fans of historical fiction and espionage. It will also appeal to readers who appreciate plots featuring strong female characters.
One Day in Lebanon
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