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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Akbar's Jihad by Paul Carlberg is a political thriller that explores intrigue, espionage, and terrorism, a story that presents the reader with very compelling characters, including CIA agents and the Iranian intelligence. Meet Akbar al-Kamal who, with the help of his best friend, Mansoor, is determined to oust the CIA team led by Mike Mahoney and the Americans from Iraq. But things change in ways no one could have expected when a rookie CIA agent, Jennifer Boyles, becomes an acquaintance of the al-Kamal family, an acquaintance that precipitates a quick relocation of the family to Colorado. In Colorado, the family will befriend Lillian and her adopted son, Francis, who in their turn will become linked to the events of Iraq.
Paul Carlberg is a gifted writer with a rare gift for storytelling and humor and I enjoyed the compelling cast of characters. I enjoyed the international setting, with dramatic events occurring both in the US and in the Middle East. The plot is well-paced and character-driven and the reader becomes immediately keen to see how the characters evolve throughout the story. One of the elements that caught my interest is the author’s descriptive prose, which leaves the reader with powerful images, insights into the social and cultural situations, and great character depth. Akbar's Jihad is an engaging story with the themes build intelligently into the plot. The story evolves pretty quickly and it helps to drive the plot. This is one book that I will be including in my list of books to reread. It was enjoyable!