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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: Nick Mennuti's "Weaponized"

I finally got around to reading Nick Mennuti and David Guggenheim's thriller, Weaponized. (I interviewed Nick about the book a few weeks ago; you can read my interview here.) As usual, I had more books I wanted to read than time to read them, so it took me a few weeks to get to it.

I can report that it's a good thriller, well worth reading. It started a bit slow, in the first few pages, but soon the protagonist is in big trouble. The book got better as I went along.

As Mennuti describes in my interview with him, the book is set largely in Cambodia and features a protagonist who is on the run from the U.S. government.

The hero, Kyle West, is a computer whiz but otherwise is not a James Bond type of person. That heightens the suspense, as he has many terrifying moments when he is in over his head, dealing with trained killers and trying to somehow remain alive. As I got further into the book, it became more urgent to finish it and find out what would happen, and what West's fate would be.

I noticed that the authors had done a lot of homework. The protagonist's parents were involved in the Baader-Meinhof Gang (referred to here as the Red Army Faction). The characters in the novel obviously are invented, but the incidents described in the book are real.

Mennuti's interest in Robert Anton Wilson is not obvious in the novel, but I noticed that West's best friend is described as a "Zen anarchist" and that there is a shadowy, dangerous conspiracy in the book that lies behind the National Security State.

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