Review of ‘Any Means Necessary’

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Luke Stone, a member of an elite FBI unit, the SRT, is on a leave of absence to decompress from the stress of his job, when radioactive waste is stolen from a NYC hospital. Called out in the middle of the night to rejoin his team, Luke quickly discovers that this ‘terrorist’ incident is more complicated than first thought, and the ultimate objective is not to sow terror, but to change the world.

Following one thread after another, Luke finds himself at the pinnacle of American power, facing a plot of epic proportions, which he must thwart by ‘any means necessary.’

Despite an overabundance of ideology, which is somewhat distracting in places, this is a compelling plot. Any Means Necessary by Jack Mars is, unfortunately, very clumsily executed. The narrative is too choppy, and the ending is left hanging; Luke’s kidnapped wife and son have not been rescued, but their location is suspected; end of book, we’re left hanging. Not fair, not fair at all. There were also parts that strained even a bibliophile’s ability to suspend disbelief. In chapter 8, for example, the jihadists who have been smart enough to compromise the security systems of a major hospital, steal a large quantity of radioactive waste, and escape New York City undetected, refer to Baltimore, MD as a beautiful city of people who are healthy and wealthy, and a city with a low crime rate. I don’t know if the author was trying to show the actual ignorance of the characters, or if he’d gotten his information from a tourist brochure, but as someone who once lived in Baltimore, and who now lives just south of the city, I cringed when I read that. Yes, it’s got some beautiful sites, and some of its citizens are healthy and wealthy, but low crime rate? You’ve got to be kidding!

The theme of people within the establishment willing to go to any lengths to gain power is a worthwhile theme to explore, but it deserves far better execution.  I received this book as a gift. While I give the idea high marks, I can only give it two stars for such poor execution.

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