I really wanted to like Mistaken Enemy by Dennis A Nehamen. It sounded just like my kind of book. A political thriller with a terrorist plot and one man who could save millions. Sounds like a season of 24. right? Unfortunately it fell flat for me. I'm actually surprised I made it to the end and didn't just give up.
A meeting with a mysterious child sends Zach to Israel. He knows of the tension between Israel and Palestine, but doesn't really understand the stakes. On the plane, his seatmate, a friendly Arab man about his age, invites him to stay with his family. Then Zach is pulled aside at Customs and his entry paperwork is changed. Officials insist he register as Press. He spends a few days doing the tourist thing before going to stay with the family. They show him around and begin indoctrinating him on the plight of the Palestinians. He uncovers a possible terrorist attack, but what will he do? Millions will die if he doesn't report it to the authorities, but the family he has come to love will be shattered if he does report it.
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There some twists and turns, bombings and whispers. But nothing that gets the heart racing. The gunfire and car bombing scenes didn't seem to phase Zach. When his companions confide in him that they are terrorists he doesn't even blink an eye or start planning his departure. I thought there were several missed opportunities to make Mistaken Enemy at true political thriller. Instead it wound up being mildly suspenseful.
I think there was just too much details that didn't matter and interrupted the pace of the story. I'm struggling with giving a short summary of the story. Have you ever read a book that seemed to grow? I would think I read a good chunk of the story, but it seemed that the end just got further and further away. Things would just be getting exciting and the reader would be flooded with details. The closest the story got to being a thriller was the arrest of Zach and subsequent torture. Yet, even that was short lived as the story follows the hallucinations of Zach and his "time/space travels".
The reader does it a good look at the every day life of Muslims living within/near Israel. And some of the more militant beliefs of Palestinians. But if you are looking for a thriller, then I think you will be disappointed. But if you are looking for a political narrative, then you might want to pick up Mistaken Enemy by Dennis A. Nehamen.
format: ebook and paperback
published: December 2013 by Musical Novels Press
read: April 2014
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