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Book Review - Redemption Day by Steve O'Brien
Thomas Admin Duff    

A picture named M2

I know there are fringe groups such as the Posse Comitatus throughout the country that have a far different view of what the government is and what it should be allowed to do.  But other than the occasional mention in a news story, I'll admit I know very little about their beliefs.  Steve O'Brien uses this far right order as the driving force behind his book Redemption Day.  As the action unfolds, O'Brien takes the opportunity to reference many of the documents and concepts that shape their mindset and explain what is happening.  It's scary that there are people who take to these principles so fervently...

Nick James is an analyst for one of the many contractors working for the US government.  His specialty is domestic terrorism, but he's let go when a particular contract is cancelled and the funding dries up.  And if that's not enough to mess up his day, he returns home to find his cheap DC basement apartment has been broken into.  Meanwhile, the District is on full alert as one of the Supreme Court justices has been kidnapped, and every law enforcement agency is furiously following leads to find him. Nick may have some ideas, but his willing involvement in the case hits a brick wall when a sheriff is killed outside his apartment... with Nick's gun... which *had* been stored in the apartment prior to the break-in. His only option is to elude the police and an APB issued for his apprehension, all in the middle of the massive manhunt that's going on.  His private investigation, coupled with his extensive knowledge of domestic terror organizations, puts him in close contact with a Posse Comitatus group who is ready to make a very public statement about how government should be run... regardless of who has to be sacrificed to advance their cause.  

Overall, I liked Redemption Day.  O'Brien did a good job in taking the Posse Comitatus rule of law and figuring out how to use that to create a decent story line.  Since the plot revolves around the central tenets of the group, he has to take the time within the flow of action to explain the hows and whys of what could happen next.  I'm usually not overly fond of stories where a significant amount of time has to be devoted to bring the reader up to speed on a topic, but I think my fascination with the subject made me more open to the technique in this case.  I would have also preferred to see a bit more depth to the agents in charge of the federal investigation.  The leader wasn't bad, but his partner was one-dimensional in his attitude of who to blame and what was going on. I did like the tentative love interest undercurrent between James and the third (and most critical) agent on the case.  It helped to give James reasons for how he was going about his own investigation and why the rest of the investigative team kept him at arms length.

If you've never had any exposure to domestic militia-style groups, Redemption Day is a fascinating read. Not only is it scary to see what a segment of our society feels is right, but it also shows how some of our mainstream political candidates aren't that far away from trying to create a country where anarchy would reign supreme.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Publicist
Payment: Free


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Apr 01, 2012
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