Thursday, April 07, 2011

Book Review: "The Malacca Conspiracy" by Don Brown

Summary from BN.com: Set in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the United States, The Malacca Conspiracy is a bone-chilling tale of terrorism on the high seas, of political assassination and nuclear brinkmanship. And for Zack and Diane—your favorite JAG characters from Don Brown's popular Navy Justice Series—a story of hope for a longstanding romance that is now or never.

When a dastardly plot is hatched in the Malaysian seaport of Malacca to attack civilian oil tankers at sea, to drive up the price of crude oil futures, and to assassinate the Indonesian president and use fat windfall profits to finance a nuclear attack against American cities, Navy JAG officers Zack Brewer and Diane Cocernian reunite in a sizzling race against the clock to foil the conspiracy before disaster strikes.

But as President Mack Williams sends ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet towards the Malacca Straights to reassert control over the sea lanes, will Navy JAG officers Zack Brewer and Diane Colcernian survive this dangerous and final high-stakes drama of life and death?

I will admit that I was drawn to this novel purely because of the title. Malacca is in Malaysia where my mother is from. Therefore I thought this book would have more of the story taking place in Malaysia. Alas, that was not meant to be. However, what I did find instead was a good military suspense novel. I haven't read any of Brown's other books in the Navy Justice series (which I think this book is either a part of or loosely tied to) but I didn't feel lost at all while reading.

The story contains very realistic situations involving terrorists attacks, nuclear bombs and religious extremists. It's all too familiar with what is going on in the news today. The terrorists are shown as extremists who seem to be very violent and power hungry. I personally didn't feel that Brown is attacking Islam or Muslims in the story. There's a lot of action and violence in the story though nothing too graphic. We get everything from nuclear bombs to shark attacks in the book. There was a scene which I found to be very interesting as one of the suicide bomber pilots was flying right over the town i live in (the joys of living in the DC metro area). I did find one jarring mistake with the wrong number of one of the major interstates in the book (it's Interstate 495 and not 485 as it's typed in the book). This wouldn't normally be a problem but since I drive on it every day AND it's one of the major interstates in this area, it's a glaring mistake. This is especially noticeable when everything else about the area seems to be correct.

There were times when I did feel that the president and other government members seemed a little too publicly Christian-like than they normally would be in real life. I'm not saying that there aren't top ranking public officials who aren't Christians but it seemed like everyone up there was and everyone was ok with publicly talking about their faith. Other than this it's a fast paced action filled book. I think that most people will enjoy reading stories that are straight from the headlines. It's good to read about a story about what could happen as opposed to reading about idealized lifestyles all the time.


The Malacca Conspiracy by Don Brown is published by Zondervan (2010)

This review copy was provided by the Amazon Vine program

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