BOOK REVIEW: THE LAST PATRIOT
When a book begins with one person being murdered and one left for dead in the shadow of the Jefferson Memorial, political intrigue surely follows! And in The Last Patriot political intrigue is rampant.
Brad Thor has written one really great book that is a fictional look at the possible results of Thomas Jefferson’s sending the Marines into Tripoli in the early 1800’s. Is there a possibility that in fact he discovered a vital missing section of the Koran that would in fact cause Islamic terrorism to be brought to a halt?
Supposedly that section has been found and is being offered for sale by a book dealer in Paris. It also includes a copy of Jefferson’s personal copy of Don Quixote and at least one of his personal puzzles. U.S. President Rutledge seeks those missing items and has several top Koranic scholars involved in retrieving them for further study. However recovering them is much easier said than done.
Scot Horvath, one of Rutledge’s personal agents accidentally happens into the fray when he witnesses an attempted assassination attempt in Paris at the bookstore where the dealer stays. After saving the intended victim, Horvath discovers that the man (Anthony Nichols) is closely tied to Rutledge and is in fact working to recover the document so that scholars may study it in hopes of unlocking the secrets that could change the world as it is today.
There are Islamic extremists who want to get to the items and keep them hidden from the world. One of them is a former CIA agent who has converted to the Muslim faith. Because of his background he is a more than formidable opponent for Horvath.
These attempts on Nichols’ life leave Horvath the task of not only protecting him but of finding the missing document. Unknown to them at the time there are also other CIA agents looking into the Memorial assassination attempt and how it interfaces with the growing terrorism threat which has gripped not only the U.S. but the entire world.
The adventure moves back and forth between Washington; Langley, Virginia; Paris; Monticello; and ends in the Caribbean. As in most political thrillers there are many battles, shootings, bombings, and the like to keep the reader interested. The whole context of the book is very current as it deals with terrorism, spies on both sides, and the real possibility that Jefferson did in fact discover something that could be very valuable in today’s society.
Much of the ending is not necessarily a mystery but the epilogue does provide an interesting twist. Thor does extremely well in putting today’s headlines inside of a well-written political thriller. This was my first of his novels but it will not be the last.
REVIEWED BY ALLEN HOTT
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