cover image The Towers

The Towers

David Poyer. St. Martin's, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-61301-3

Poyer turns his attention to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in his earnest 13th novel featuring Cdr. Dan Lenson (after The Crisis). On 9/11, Lenson is visiting the Pentagon, while his wife, Blair, is in the South Tower; neither escapes unscathed. The attacks send shock waves around the world to Yemen, where FBI special agent Aisha Ar-Rahim, a Muslim, attempts to contain threats to America, despite the intransigence of local authorities. As Blair struggles to recover from her injuries, Dan soon joins the effort to corner, then capture or kill Osama bin Laden, holed up in the caves of Tora Bora. Of course, the constraints of history mean no cathartic violent death for 9/11's criminal mastermind. Instead, Poyer's serviceable prose and conventional characters aim to show how 10 years ago opportunities were squandered and the competent few found themselves sabotaged by inept ideologues. (Sept.)