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Joshua's Hammer by David Hagberg
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Joshua's Hammer (2000)

by David Hagberg

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812544390, Mass Market Paperback)

When Saudi zillionaire Osama bin Laden speaks, Allen Trumble, CIA chief of station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, listens. When bin Laden breaks the news that he's the proud owner of a Russian-made, suitcase-sized nuclear device and wonders if there might not be someone else higher up that he might speak to, the call goes out to Kirk McGarvey, deputy director of operations. A call also goes out to some very bad men who, upon the Trumble family's return to the States, slaughter the lot of them in, of all places, a Disney World parking lot.

The administration, never bin Laden boosters, thinks even less of him after the Disney World hit, but the man does have a bomb, so off McGarvey goes to Afghanistan for a face-to-face and a look-see. Once McGarvey's in situ--and after bin Laden surgically removes a homing device from his body--the president becomes convinced that McGarvey's been killed and orders a retaliatory strike. It misses bin Laden but hits and kills his beloved 19 year-old-daughter, Sarah.

This time, as they say, it's personal, and bin Laden knows just what to do with his bomb. Detonate the little bugger below the Golden Gate Bridge just as President Haynes's Down's syndrome-afflicted daughter is passing above. Tick, tick, tick, tick.

And so goes Joshua's Hammer, David Hagberg's umpteenth thriller and the eighth entry (after 1999's White House) in his popular Kirk McGarvey adventure series. The premise is less than original, but fans of Clancyesque techno-thrillers won't necessarily be disappointed. The book moves well despite Hagberg's off-the-rack prose and characterizations, and, if the reader can navigate the babble-strewn home stretch, delivers a none-too-surprising yet satisfying finish. --Michael Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:31 -0400)

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