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Saturday, May 23, 2009

My review of Ulterior Motives by Mark Andrew Olsen


When an al-Qaeda email is intercepted, threatening an attack on America, it leads to the capture of the group's leader. Yet even under fierce interrogation, the terrorist clings to his jihadist beliefs and refuses to divulge any information. Desperate, the Army resorts to extreme measures--a controversial protocol designed to break a subject's resistance. But the attempt must be masked as an offer of clemency and rely on an outside party, someone who is unaware of the protocol's aims.

They find that someone in Greg Cahill, a disgraced soldier who now serves in a prison ministry. Lured by the chance to restore his reputation, Greg befriends a man the entire country despises. And the result proves combustible, the two men having to flee for their lives. With both in need of redemption, they set out to prevent a major catastrophe...

My review:

Maybe I am a bit biased because I live near Sierra Vista and know people who work in psy-ops and intel on Ft. Huachuca. All of the details regarding the setting rang true for me. He had the facts down perfectly except for in one place. The one time it did snow here in the past six years it was more like one to two inches, tops. But that's forgiveable because my guess is he needed it for the plot. After all, it is fiction.

I love the psychology behind these types of stories, probably because that's the subject I majored in when I got my Bachelor's degree. Anyway, I found the story fascinating, especially the techniques used by the military to deal with highly classified situations. It reminded me of the Bourne Identity that way. Were the good guys always good guys? Or was it just until they got what they wanted and then they turned on you... I loved the implied messages, too. The media messes up things sometimes when they give out information prematurely and sometimes because of the security breach, people die. So true. Then they blame the military, who, of course, must pick a fall guy, at least that's how it's presented here. I found it very believable.

For me the best part of this story was the spiritual content. It's so true that people know when we are sincere and when we are not. People who don't know Christ are in search of the very thing we claim to have, but don't always show in our behavior. And, of course, God can use anyone and anything to change us for the better. Bottom have to forgive yourself for others to see the forgiveness Christ has given you. Very well done!

The only weakness I saw in this book was the six year old's thinking and speech. A few times he sounded more like a ten year hold than a six year old. But that wasn't significant enough to taint the story for me. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who wants to be inspired by a story with a deep faith element. I love stories that make me think and make me want to share my faith more with people who seem "unreachable."

Ulterior Motives was published by Bethany House and released in March 2009.

1 comment:

PatriciaW said...

I too love this book, especially the spiritual thread. But I didn't find the 6yo's dialogue unusual or too old. I have a 6yo who speaks at times like a 15yo. He walks around saying things like "Well actually, what you don't understand is..."

He's a budding astronaut.

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