After a tragic childhood, Gideon Davis has lived his adult life by a strict moral code: Thou Shall Not Kill. As a Special Presidential Envoy, he has dedicated himself to defusing crises around the globe. Following a successful negotiation of a cease fire in the jungles of Colombia, he is called to Washington, D.C. to receive a Medal of Peace from the United Nations. Immediately after the ceremony, Gideon is ushered in to talk with Alton Diggs, the President of the United States. Also in attendance is “Uncle Earl” Parker, an influential government leader who served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam with Gideon’s father. Parker has been a friend and mentor to Gideon and his brother Tillman since the death of their dad.
Tillman has followed a decidedly different course from his younger brother. To avoid prison after a violent street brawl, he ended up in the army, where he rose to the elite ranks of Special Forces. After serving in Afghanistan, South America and Indonesia, a long-term assignment posing as a Chechen arms dealer takes him to the Sultanate of Mohan. In the strategically located country of Mohan, jihadis have threatened to overtake the government. While working undercover on the small island nation, Tillman reportedly has become a blood-thirsty rogue agent and has aligned himself with the jihadis, using the name Abu Nasir.
President Diggs has requested Gideon’s assistance to bring the rogue agent back to the United States. In exchange for his safe return, Tillman has agreed to turn over strategic intelligence about the jihad’s operations. As a condition of his surrender, Tillman will only turn himself over to Gideon, who is accompanying Earl Davis to Mohan. Gideon has 48 hours to save his brother’s life.
Matters get dangerous and deadly after Gideon arrives in Mohan. A typhoon is headed towards the Obelisk, a multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art oil rig off the coast of Mohan. The Obelisk has been seized by terrorists led by Abu Nasir. Among the hostages is Kate Murphy, the brave and intelligent oil rig manager. While trying to rescue the hostages and bring his brother home, Gideon must join forces with Kate and reassess his strict moral code.
GIDEON’S WAR is an intelligent and rapid-paced suspense novel that kept me turning the pages and holding my breath. In his fiction debut, Howard Gordon, the longtime executive producer of “24,” has crafted a nail-biter of a political thriller, complete with compelling and complex heroes and villains, an exotic setting, and a story about the worst and the best of the human condition --- betrayal and loyalty, cowardice and courage, greed and sacrifice.
Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt (firstname.lastname@example.org) on March 28, 2011