Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The American Crusade, by Mark Spivak {ends 5/12}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

It was challenging for some people, even those as close to the situation as Robert Hornsby, to pinpoint the precise moment when the wheels came off the situation in Sumeristan.

For many observers, the invasion started to unravel on August 9 with the murder of Sergeant Sam Gravino, just three weeks after the July 14 celebration. The father of three from Arkansas was on patrol with his company when he was shot by a rooftop sniper. His fellow soldiers stormed the building and killed the sniper, but it was too late for Gravino, who died shortly afterward at the base hospital.

This was not the first assassination of an American serviceman. Attacks had begun even as the National Day of Celebration was underway. The administration tried to hide them from the public, but this subterfuge became increasingly difficult as Sumeri snipers stepped up their activity in the weeks following the coalition’s occupation. Even before Gravino’s death in early August, several soldiers were dying every day.

As details of the soldier’s fate filtered back to his family, however, they became outraged as well as bereaved. They hired an attorney and began giving interviews to the press. By Labor Day, the “Gravino Incident,” along with rumors of many other Americans being slaughtered on the streets of Baghdad, had gone national. Major news outlets assigned investigative reporters assigned to the story. There were rumors the Gravinos had been booked on 60 minutes.

Politics is definitely a performance career. What happens, and how the story ends up being told, can vary depending on agendas and who is telling the tale.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The American Crusade, by Mark Spivak {ends 5/12}
On May 1, 2001, a group of radical Islamic terrorists crash a Boeing 737 jet airliner into the Mall of America—and Vice President Robert Hornsby knows his moment is coming.

The attack kills three thousand American citizens and throws an entire nation into a panic, but all Hornsby sees is an opportunity, a chance to imprint his fanatical values on the soul of the country he loves and become the most powerful vice president in American history.

With the aid of his affable but ineffectual president; the reluctant, conscience-stricken secretary of defense; and a preening, foppish faith leader with more than a few skeletons in his closet; Hornsby declares war on terror—and anyone who stands in his way. But as media scrutiny of the administration’s actions overseas intensifies, Hornby’s one-man campaign against evil begins to unravel—with striking parallels to the thirteenth century’s doomed Fourth Crusade—and sends the nation spiraling toward another deadly tragedy.

The American Crusade paints a grim and often cynical picture of America’s recent past, reflecting the attitudes, politics, and fears that shaped our nation in the new millennium. By sampling the contemporaneous French text on the Fourth Crusade, On the Conquest of Constantinople, author Mark Spivak reminds us of that ever-vital adage: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The characters in this book come off as quite believable. This is surely in part because they share many characteristics with recognizable politicians in real life. It added another level of engagement to a repeating of the high points from the Fourth Crusades (excerpted in part from 13th century French texts) and the terror attacks of 9/11.

The story is told in turn by the politicians in Washington (as the vice president attempted to manipulate them like puppets) and a young revolutionary growing up in war-torn Sumeristan. It was interesting to read history happening on both sides of the ocean, and how each action taken had so many unintended consequences. The voice of the mother of the young revolutionary was perhaps the most gut-wrenching, as she tried to keep her family safe and out of harm’s way.

Overall, I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars. Political thrillers definitely have a specific audience, especially when politics becomes such an avoided topic in some circles. This was well-written, and while a broader knowledge of politics would have made this book more relatable and entertaining, it was still understandable for a reader without a strong political background.

{click here to purchase - currently free for Kindle Unlimited!}

Becki Bayley is a wife and mother. In her spare time she enjoys reading, washing dishes and laundry, playing the flute, and drinking Southern Comfort and Cherry Coke. More of her book reviews and adventures are available at SweetlyBSquared.com.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The American Crusade!

Giveaway will end on Tuesday, May 12th, at 11:59pm EST, and the winner will be contacted via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

The American Crusade, by Mark Spivak

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Elizabeth has read 2 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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