Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review: Power Down


Have you ever finished a novel and thought, “That would make a great movie”? I’m sure all of us have read a book like that at one time or another. When I finished Power Down by Ben Coes, the first thing I did was let my heart rate return to normal. This novel about terrorism is so plausible that it terrified me. It is the first novel by Coes who spent part of his career as a speechwriter in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Even at 449 pages, the novel moves quickly and I couldn’t wait to discover what happened next.

The novel is so disturbing because the terrorist is a hedge fund manager living in the United States. Although not born in the States, he grew up, received his education, and made his fortune here. He lives in New York City, is very popular with his friends and acquaintances, and has a very comfortable life. Despite all this, he sees the United States as his enemy and develops a VERY elaborate plot to bring the country down.

Part of his plot involves using sleeper cells that are located across the country. The terrorist plot takes so long to get underway that some cell members think it has been aborted. Some are even relieved because they enjoy living in the United States. Although many people die in the terrorist attacks, killing Americans is not the goal. I could tell you what the goal is, but you have to read the book to find out.

If you like the television show 24, you will love this book. The terrorist plots in Power Down make a season of 24 look like Get Smart. Jack Bauer may have gotten to the bottom of this, but it would take more than Chloe sitting in front of a computer screen. If you want a great thrill ride, check out Power Down by Ben Coes. By the way, it will make a great movie.

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