Friday, May 16, 2014

The Last Patriot

The Last Terrorist
© 2008 Brad Thor
352 pages


The Last Patriot takes a modern covert-cops thriller and combines it with The DaVinci Code, though the sinister establishment being threatened by some archaeological find is not the Church of Rome, but global Islam.  The novel opens with a car bomb exploding in Paris, its target an American historian in the employ of the US president.  “President Rutledge” hopes to shake Islam at its base by revealing the Last Revelation of Muhammad, for which the prophet was supposedly assassinated.  The nature of that revelation is evidently seriously enough  that angry Muslim villains employ a US secret agent turned terrorist to kill anyone who might know about it. Unfortunately for him, Rutledge has a whole band of terrist-fightin’ secret agent men of his own, and they go ‘round and ‘round throughout the novel killing people until the final reveal.


Although I’d hoped for an exciting military or political thriller set in the mid-east, most of the action takes place in either Paris or D.C. The fantastic plot beggars belief, between the amount of clues tied up in Thomas Jefferson’s architectural work, and all of the characters seriously believing that a document changing their beliefs about the Koran would diminish global terrorism. The story climaxes at Jefferson’s privately-designed estate, where clues in its design lead to the location of the final revelation’s hiding place, National Treasure-like. The stuttering hostility toward Islam doesn’t help, with the general avowing that global Islam is the worst thing ever being occasionally disrupted by characters blandly mentioning that it’s radical Islam they hate, not Islam in general). Aside from the technology and some of the American characters, there’s not a lot of believably here: Left Behind had more credible Muslims.   I'm not entirely sure what the title even has to do with the plot; it seems a generic America vs Evil Muslims tale with some Founding Father resonance thrown in. 

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