Monday, August 17, 2009
by Jack Stewart
(Non Sequitur Press / 0-981-26990-7 / 978-0-981-26990-0 / May 2009 / 322 pages / $9.95 / Kindle $.99)
Reviewed by Lloyd Lofthouse for PODBRAM
The Caliphate, a political thriller by Jack Stewart has action, conspiracy, politics, and both economic and Islamic terrorism mixed with family values delivered in 316 pages. This thriller sends a chilling message made more frightening due to al-Qaida's goals to bring back the Caliphate that existed after Mohammed's death in 632 AD.
If the Caliphate were to return today, one man would rule all Islam's 1.2 billion believers representing about 22% of the world's population spread across more than fifty Muslim countries. Consider the consequences if someone like Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or the leader of the Taliban ruled all Islam. Does it matter of he were a Shiite or a Sunni?
The story starts when the antihero, Trent Lambert, a greedy Wall Street currency trader and CEO of the multi-billion dollar Lambert Fund, manipulates the currency of Indonesia to increase his wealth. Unknown to Trent, his actions are being closely watched by one of his investors, a Saudi Prince with plans to lead the next Caliphate. This scenario seems even more frightening considering the fragile economic situation in the world today that started in the United States due to similar greedy goals.
Like Howard Hughes, Lambert has a phobia for germs and viruses and lives almost isolated in a sterile environment. At one time, Lambert was mentally healthier, and he had a wife and a son. When his son, Eric, is kidnapped by Islamic terrorists to be used as leverage to gain Lambert's currency trader expertise to bring down the American economy, Trent is reunited with his wife in a mutual attempt to save their son. What happens after that is like James Bond and Mission Impossible in one package.
Unlike many thrillers, The Caliphate offers a balanced view of Islam through Indonesian pirates, Harmina, her son Ando, and father Datuk. Without the help of Islamic pirates, Lambert and his wife do not stand a chance to get their son back and thwart the plans of the Saudi Prince and his allies, the Jemaah Islamiyah, one of the world's most dangerous terrorist groups, and save their son while keeping America and its allies from economic collapse.
The Caliphate is a feasible, well-plotted story that kept my attention even though the unconventional formatting with block paragraphs separated by blank lines was distracting at first.
See Also: The Caliphate at Mobipocket