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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Department of Book Reports

Prayers for the Assassin, by Robert Ferrigno (Pocket Books, $7.99)
This imaginative, yet believable thriller is set a couple of decades in the future: after nuclear attacks on New York, DC and LA, America has split into two countries - the Christian Bible Belt in the South and the Islamic Republic across the North. Popular culture still exists amidst five calls to prayer during the day. The story begins in Seattle, the new country’s capital, at the Super Bowl where the cheerleaders are all men. Religious police keep an eye on all.
And Vegas is a wide-open free city-state where all go to unwind. Of course, the Mormon territories still exist, but no one wants to deal with them.

Muslim Historian Sarah Dougan gets wind of a crack in the official history, that the terrorist bombings did not happen as everyone was told. Officially thought to be the act of Israelis, she uncovers evidence that a radical Muslim was responsible for the attack. She and her lover, Rakkim, himself a former Muslim Warrior, go on the run from an assassin who trained in Rakkim’s former unit. A crackling chase between assassins takes place - one who loves her and wants to protect her, the other given the job to silence her. Cautionary and chilling with the world we know altered in look and feel. Ferrigno makes sly jabs at popular culture and acquisition: the only cola available in the North is Jihad Cola™- “for the warrior within”. The Bible Belt has the recipe for Coca Cola™ and bans its’ export.

This is an entire world that Ferrigno has created. Fully, ironically, and quite frighteningly, it points out the horrors of living in a fundamentalist society.

In the name of full disclosure, I must report I’ve known Robert for years and have always been a fan of his crime novels. Last week I got an email from him; he had spotted the General’s directive to shop at JSB. So, armed with the info that he is a lurker here, I decided Prayers for the Assassin would be this week’s pick, in hopes of drawing him out to comment.

Update: Tomorrow morning at 7 A.M. PACIFIC Time (ouch!)
Tami Kosch's guests on "Community Matters Weekend Edition" on KPTK-AM include Steve Hendricks, author of "The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country."

I think you can stream from there, hopefully they will post an RSS later.

I’m posting early today, as this afternoon, Seattle’s March to Bring Home the Troops converges on Jackson Street Books’ own parking lot to protest in front of the Army/Navy/Marine recruitment offices. I figure I’ll go tag along to see just what this Watada dude has to say for hisself.

Signed copies of Prayers for the Assassin are available at Jackson Street Books and Seattle Mystery Bookshop and fine independent bookstores everywhere.

Once again, I am indebted to democommie™™™™®©’s inspiration and significant contributions to this book report.

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.