After rescuing the American president’s daughter, Carl Johnson, the American Terrorist, learns that the girl was just a pawn in a deadly game—the real objective is the assassination of President Shirley Mallory and most of her government. The shadowy figures behind this scheme include the Rain Man, a high-level American government official, and the Triad, one of Mexico’s deadliest drug cartels. Their intent is nothing less than a complete takeover of the Western Hemisphere.
With help from former SEAL trainee, Special agent Nancy Palmer, and in an uneasy alliance with her boss, McGrath, Johnson is in a race against time. The plotters have a deadly virus that will kill millions and totally disrupt the world’s economy. Johnson must also enlist the help of FBI agent Lenore Cummings, a woman he’d physically tortured and humiliated after a government operation led to the death of his son, Mark.
As a reward for saving her daughter, Mallory granted Johnson a presidential pardon, and his operation against the Triad has left him with enough money, he could simply fade away and live a life of luxurious exile. But, that’s not enough for the American Terrorist. Motivated by an unquenched desire for revenge, and most importantly, a sense of honor and an aversion to harming the innocent, Johnson and his team set themselves against the power of the U.S. Government, or that part of it under the Rain Man’s control, and the might of the Triad. In a race against time, with scenes of heart stopping action, Jeffrey Poston’s Contagion: American Terrorist 2 is a perfect sequel to Where’s the Girl? Fight scenes, tactical planning sessions, and one-on-one encounters are written with an astonishing degree of verisimilitude and drama. Poston knows his technical stuff, and manages to convey it without giving readers a boring data dump. As unlikely as the premise might seem; an ordinary real estate agent, tortured by his own government, turns into the deadliest killer imaginable, it comes across as believable. Johnson’s a killer, able to kill without hesitation—even he admits that—but, throughout he maintains his humanity. He might be a bad guy, but he knows who the good guys are, and he’s willing to put his life on the line for them.
Come along for the ride of your life. Poston hits another home run with five stars!
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!