Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Review: The Chosen One *Spoiler Alert*

In the past, I've enjoyed the modern religio-political or politco-religious novels from the pen of Sam Bourne (Jonathan Freedland). In each, some conspiracy was unearthed, with a powerful secret leading to a thrilling chase against some form of terrorism or terror about to be unleashed on the world. The Righteous Men, The Final Reckoning and The Last Testament were all great books.

So when I was picking my holiday reading, I had to include Bourne's latest volume, The Chosen One. In it, we revisit a previous character who now becomes the main protagonist in this volume, so that was a nice weaving together of the stories. Maggie Costello is working for the new President, Stephen Baker and things are coming together to work for change. But then, suddenly, things spiral out of control when various revelations are made concerning Baker, and the President looks to be in danger.

Costello is thrown into investigative mode, hunting down those who are threatening the President, as well as those who are threatening the threatener! It's an action-packed thriller combination of the West Wing and 24. It's a better version of the Dan Brown type story, with high level political intrigue, a series of killings, some foul language, and some adult scenes.

The action continues throughout, with lots of twists and lots of subplots to think about before the climax of the book. I did enjoy it, although there were unresolved questions at the end - including how the Islamic sub-plot fitted in and how it related to the main conspiracy of the rich guys and their political grooming.

While it's a good enough book, I don't think it was Bourne's best story - perhaps the pressures of publishing another bestseller meant that the story wasn't fully formulated and resolved. If you like Dan Brown, you'll prefer Bourne's other stories - get into them before trying this one.

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