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Peter Schechter, Author
Peter Schechter, Author . Rayo $24.95 (323p) ISBN 978-0-06-084330-4
Reviewed on: 11/07/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
Paperback - 323 pages - 978-0-06-120564-4
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-170464-2
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-170457-4
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 352 pages - 978-0-06-170460-4
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-184445-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-06-084331-1
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First-time novelist Schechter draws on his background as an international political and communications consultant for this tentative but promising international thriller. Set in the "not-so-distant future," the story revolves around a Syrian scheme to smuggle enriched uranium into the U.S. through Colombia (via Russia, Chechnya and Georgia) using the drug traffickers of a prominent cartel. Schecter deftly executes this spellbinding plot and the suspenseful rising tension of the uranium's movement across the world. (The journey through the remote regions of the Caucasus is especially intriguing.) Although important to the unfolding action, the subplots—especially the love story involving American President John Stockman, a widowed practical Midwesterner, and Colombian President Marta Pradilla, the country's first female leader and a former Miss Universe and Rhodes scholar—often strain credibility. Schechter's use of dialogue for awkward exposition also makes for some improbable conversations: when the U.S. national security adviser, for example, briefs President Stockman on a lunch with the heads of state of the Group of Eight nations, he reminds Stockman that they "govern the world's richest countries." Despite some missteps, the strength of Schechter's storytelling makes for an entertaining debut. (Jan.)

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