After the ramifications of September 11, 2001 had a chance to sink in, after the initial furor and anomie somewhat subsided, after Everyday American got back to the rigors of making a living and after the opportunists had all the time they needed to figure out how to use 9/11 to their best advantage, among the primary residua of that morning of horror was the discarding of the previously mostly-unarticulated assumption that our oceans and friendly border nations insulated us from attack.
Now, we expect more and greater attacks, the aftermath of which will resemble the war-ravaged sequelae of the European conflagration sixty-five years in our rear-view mirror. [Editor's Note: Get Ken Timmerman's "Honor Killing" - Go Here Now!]
That said, the fact is that more than a few ordinary Americans neither believe nor act as if the war that began years before that otherwise charming September morning is ongoing. And even more of us have no useful idea of how the additional attacks we expect might be accomplished or an understanding of if, let alone how, they might be short-circuited.
We are distracted from a threat that is real by bombast that is political and by derision that is ceaseless. And, of course, we are also beset by problems too important to be termed distractions, such as the constitutional tension between two primary titans of democracy now at odds with each other, the government’s duty to protect us from a nuclear attack and its obligation not to erode our freedoms in the process.
It is in (and into) this milieu that Kenneth Timmerman brings us his new novel, "Honor Killing," not only to teach those of us who want to learn but, even better, to entertain us so completely that we cannot help but do so. Once into his story we soon reach a point that we repeatedly wonder, almost with every turned page, how Timmerman who, after all, is but one man, can know so much about so many things tightly intertwined with how our enemies can accomplish what we dread and how our protectors can discover and thwart their intended malevolence.
This is not a book about the what. There is no doubt about what is planned by the enemies of freedom, or whether they will succeed. That is one of the novel’s strong points, because no time is wasted in unnecessary distraction. This is a book about the how, with which Timmerman skillfully infuses the action to bring us events that are exciting, physical, intellectual, entertaining and instructive.
How do terrorists accomplish the complicated planning necessary to bring destruction to a major American city? How do they penetrate our defenses? How do they misdirect and elude our protectors? How can they make the extraordinary blend into ordinary transactional behavior?
And how are we able to learn the little things that will spur us on to learn even more about events that, at first, seem so remote from anything indicative, let alone conclusive? How do we recognize all of those little twos so that we can get to the fours that we need to prevail? How can those in our government who are able and insightful prevail against those less so? How can we use technology to overcome impediments to self-preservation that not so long ago would have kept us from being able to stymie the elements of our destruction?
It is in these areas that Timmerman establishes himself as a man who knows. He uses history and facts to let us in on what we could not have imagined. And even though we never believe that America will be destroyed, he somehow puts his complicated story together in a way that keeps us turning pages, understanding just what is going on, and wanting not to have to wait too long to find out how what we anticipate will actually be accomplished.
And amid the techno-speak of our many and varied CIA-like enterprises, Timmerman manages to work into his story what we refer to as human interest factors - love, jealousy, care, disgust, distrust, hatred, pride and, especially, religious conviction. In fact, it is in his use of these factors that he fine-tunes his characters’ actions that connect some seriously disparate dots, including the dot that gives meaning to the title of his novel.
I regret to report that I can find nothing to criticize adversely, so as to make more believable what I have written above. But, I can only work with material given to me, even if it comes from a friend and a recurring guest on my talk radio program, a position Timmerman achieved only because I was very quickly persuaded by our early conversations and by his non-fiction books and articles that he knows more than anyone else about the dangers we face from the Middle East, particularly Iran, and also how to deal with them.
You will finish Honor Killing not that long after you begin, its almost four hundred pages notwithstanding. And you will then discover that you just completed a multi-subject seminar that was so entertaining that you never realized during the process that you were being educated. Read. Learn. Enjoy!
Julian Tepper is a lawyer, a radio show host, a husband and a father, definitely not in that order of importance.
Editor's Note: Get Ken Timmerman's "Honor Killing" - Go Here Now!
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