Skip to main content

Book Review: American Radical



My Rating: 4

My latest book review is something I don’t typically read, but when I saw a recent interview with the author/undercover FBI agent on tv, I knew I had to check this one out.

American Radical is the story of Tamer Elnoury (not his real name), a Muslim American working undercover in the FBI’s counterterrorism unit. Originally from Egypt and able to speak Arabic, he was recruited by the FBI after 9/11 to join their elite group and gain the trust of known terrorists who are plotting to take out as many innocent lives as possible. It is his duty in the beginning to simply portray a radical to suspected jihadists and see what their reaction is, but his unique background and superior experience quickly requires much more.

The agency soon puts him on the case of a suspected Canadian radical, Chiheb. Chiheb is plotting an attack and Elnoury must try to find out details about his plans, but first, he has to get him to trust him. I found the entire process fascinating as the author shares his journey as well as the process he uses. He also shares the struggles of his job as well as what he goes through as an undercover agent (not being able to talk to his family for months at a time, having to essentially take on his undercover identity, etc). The book covers his whole relationship with Chiheb, as well as the conclusion.

Overall, this book was very informative about necessary things people do everyday to keep us safe, even if we don't realize it. While the book was entirely Elnoury's story, and didn't go into too much more detail about other Muslims helping the US, it was still engrossing and interesting. A final fascinating note is that the author had to use a pseudonym not only to protect his identity, but also because he is still highly involved in undercover work for the government. This book is an excellent reminder of those brave individuals who protect us and our freedom.


-Busy Brunette



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing

My Rating: 5
Short and sweet: Wow. What can I say about this book? I will start by stating that if you need one amazing book to read this fall (or entire year), don't hesitate to pick up this one. The writing is delicious and the descriptions of life on the marsh make you feel like you are there. The novel follows Kya, dubbed by locals as the "Marsh Girl", throughout her life on the swamp, with and without her family. It also flashes forward to a mysterious death that happens in town and adds a sense of suspense to the entire ordeal as police try to find out what happened. Spanning the decades, the author did a spectacular job of character evolution and you can see Kya grow and change before your eyes. This is one I will be recommending for months to come and would love to read again. Go get it!
-Laura

Book Review: Fractured

My Rating: 4
I finished this book in less than a day if that gives you any indication of how much I enjoyed it (and I have a young toddler so this was no easy feat). Every time I pick up a book that sounds like it will be suspenseful, I am hoping for an experience like this one. The writing was engaging, the plot gripping, and the emotions were electric. 
Fractured is the story of a famous author, Julie, who moves with her family to a new suburban neighborhood to escape an obsessed stalker that has haunted her for years. She is hoping the neighborhood will not only be a great place to start over, but will also be the perfect setting to help her write her second novel. This community with manicured lawns and impeccable houses turns out to be far from idyllic, however. 
The story alternates viewpoints between Julie and her neighbor across the street, John, which makes the reading go that much faster. It also switches between ‘then’ and ‘now’, a technique that basically causes you to never …

Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty

My Rating: 2
So I’m going to be completely honest with this one- I haven’t been this disappointed in a book in a long time.
After reading and loving Big Little Lies, I knew that I wanted to read another one of Liane Moriarty’s works when I saw it. Truly Madly Guilty started out interesting enough, it hops back and forth between present time and what seems like a few months ago at a friendly neighborly barbecue. We are made aware early on that something traumatic happened at the barbecue but must try to put the pieces together throughout the story to discover what that was.
True to form, each chapter is from a different character’s perspective, rotating mainly between the six adults that were there that day, each trying to come to grips with what happened and how it affected their lives, and marriages, forever. The mystery intrigued me enough to keep reading, but to me it was really slow and took a lot of effort to keep pushing on. About halfway through, you finally find out what happen…