Review of ‘American Terrorist: Where is the Girl?’

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As an African-American man, Carl Johnson had been previously hassled by the cops, so he thought he understood racial profiling. But, when the daughter of a high-profile figure is kidnapped and government authorities who have the incident on tape identify Carl as one of the kidnappers, a nightmare begins that he’s afraid he might never awake from.

Carl has the misfortune of being an exact double of a notorious drug dealer who was involved in the kidnapping. Agents from a shadowy counter-terrorism arrest Carl and subject him to eleven days of torture designed to break mind, spirit and body. But, their plans backfire. Although somewhat broken in body, Carl finds within himself a reserve of strength that he never knew he possessed. Then his torturers make a deadly mistake—actually two—they let him go, and then they run an operation that gets his son, Mark, killed.

Now, Carl has two aims in life: the first is to get the people who took everything from him; the second comes later—he will find the missing girl and return her to her family. His initial success in striking back at his tormentors earns him the title, ‘The American Terrorist,’ not a sobriquet that’s a guarantee for a long life.

There are some books that you should never start reading unless you’re sure you have time to finish them. American Terrorist: Where is the Girl?  By Jeffrey Poston is one of them. I started this book last night at 9:00 pm, thinking I’d read a couple of hours, put it away, and finish it today. I reached the last sentence at 1:00 am—unaware of the passage of time.

Great writing. Characters come alive, reaching out from the page and smacking you on the kisser. Dialogue is so realistic you can feel the spittle spraying your face as they sputter. And, the descriptions are so vivid, you smell the sweat of fear. Within an expertly crafted adventure/thriller is also a discourse on government over-reach, the arrogance of power, and the dangers of using what our government euphemistically calls ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques – in other words, torture. Not only does it risk damaging the mind and body of the victim, but it serves to dehumanize the one who applies it—and it makes more enemies, at a time when they are definitely not needed.

This was book number one of two, and I’m planning to read two as well. Just one question: will there be a number three? Five Stars!

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