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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Striking an excellent balance between action and emotion, Lethal Memories by Jamil Sherjan and Rob Flemming is a thriller propelled by character motivation. It begins in Cyprus back in 1974, when two explosions on Pissouri Beach killed and injured many people. Young Michael Roberts will never forget the tragedy, for it resulted in his mother losing an arm. Three Palestinian men were apprehended as suspects. While they were being interrogated, their sons, Tarek al-Shami, Ali Abbas and Amin Masri were forced to watch as British naval reservists raped their mothers and sisters. Such scarring memories last far into their adult years. Thirty years on, Mike is heading up an elite counter-terrorist team based in London. In the opposite camp, Tarek has connections with al-Qaeda money in Beirut, Ali manages an arms factory in Wales, and Amin runs a global food supply chain. As old wounds continue to fester, Tarek, Ali, and Amin join forces to avenge the past atrocities, raising the bar on global terrorism. But Mike has his old wounds as well, and as the fatal attacks gain momentum, he is set on a chase to catch the perpetrators and avert possible nuclear terrorism.
This thriller is well-assembled from three parts: The first is the background story of how a bitter episode in their childhood has molded the main characters to become who they are. The second part is the detailed exposition on the connivance of the three Palestinians to wreak havoc to the world—from their careful planning and meetings to the execution of their revenge. The third is the cat-and-mouse game where Mike is passionately involved. What is even more brilliant is that Sherjan and Flemming do not pander to that trope of a one-man hero saving the day. It is a team effort for Mike, and his task is truly not going to be easy. Lives will be lost, and the outcome of this chase may either satisfy you or make you think that it is a realistic ending for a story dealing with real-world threats. This is what you are in for, which makes Lethal Memories a lethal reading entertainment.