Thursday, November 21, 2013

Strait of Hormuz by Davis Bunn

Marc's mission from the State Department is to find out who is funding the Iranian nuclear program. He has a lead - the money trail involves the sale of high-end art. He is nearly blown up in a gallery in Geneva just as he sees Kitra, the Israeli nurse with whom he had a brief relationship in the previous novel. She had had a mysterious phone call instructing her to go to Geneva and warn Marc of danger.

The two work together, even though their relationship is strained. They try to follow the money trail, teaming up with Swiss law enforcement. Adding to the tension is a time constraint. A ship with unknown cargo has left North Korea and its whereabouts unknown. The U.S. military leadership is bent on making a big mistake by boarding the ship when it surfaces. Marc is convinced it is a decoy, but he has to find the real shipment and prevent its use before it is too late. The action moves to the Middle East as the novel progresses.

This is a fast paced international thriller. People from several nations work together to keep Iran from completing their terrorist act. There is lots of action along with the troubled progressive romance between Marc and Kitra.

There were a few concerns I had about the novel. One is that Kitra and the female high-end art broker who is helping Marc are left alone to attend a gallery event. They had already been attacked once and I was surprised Marc did not arranged protection in such a public place. Well, of course, they are attacked again (duh) and Marc has to rush to save them (he was talking with his law enforcement friends). Another issue is that a very wealthy person provides Marc with all the extras he needs. That just seemed a little too convenient. I also had some difficulty getting a sense of the locations, perhaps from lack of description.

These are issues that I felt detracted from the novel but it is still an exciting one. Faith is a prominent aspect of this novel, from the individual faith of Marc and Kitra to the collective faith of the Christians gathering for worship that are from many nations. It was very interesting to learn of the plight of Arab Christians in the Middle East. People who like international political thrillers will like this one.

David Bunn is an award-winning novelist and a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Oxford. His books have sold nearly seven million copies worldwide. He and his wife divide their time between the English countryside and the coast of Florida. To learn more, visit

Bethany House Publishers, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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