Gunfire echoes within the walls of a Middle East police compound. Screams of terror are brutally silenced. Police captain Hashim Sharif captures one survivor. Soon Eliza MacKay will wish she had died with her companions.
The vile act of terrorism is covered-up. Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city's bloody secret – and the witness, MacKay. His corrupt superiors have a gun rammed against his skull. Disloyalty to the mayor will be rewarded with being buried alive.
Whatever the cost, his government’s honor must be restored. Secretly, Sharif hunts forensic evidence. Who is responsible for the murder of fifteen American volunteers? And, why did MacKay lie about her identity? He can’t trust her. Her mental illness is going to get both of them killed.
When he receives orders to dispose of MacKay, his Muslim faith is tested. Murder an innocent in cold blood? He will suffer Allah's eternal wrath.
CIA Agent Hutchinson has the lying Sharif in his cross hairs. Sharif dodges the agent’s traps almost as easily as the hit man on his tail. When Sharif discovers the shocking truth, he loses all hope of survival.
What is worth dying for? Perhaps it’s not bringing a madman to justice. Could it be saving the life of a woman who kick-started his numb heart? On the knife edge of risk, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.
This novel got off to a bit of a rough start for me with choppy writing and unclear scenes. About a quarter of the way into the book, however, the writing became smooth and the scenes well developed. The narrative is action packed and full of suspense to the end.
The characters are larger than life. I had difficulty liking them. Eliza is a widow suffering from debilitating PTSD. Stone describes the PTSD graphically and it gave me a new appreciation for those who suffer from it. Eliza is a survivor and it seemed out of character for her to quickly develop affectionate feelings for her captor. And I did not like Sharif. He is a conflicted character, rough one moment and tender the next. He becomes a more tender man as the novel progresses but is someone I would never trust, unlike Eliza.
Potential readers need to know that there is a graphically portrayed attempted rape scene included. Those having survived a similar experience may have difficulty reading this book. There is also vulgar language and swearing by many characters.
Those interested in one possible future of Muslim countries might like this book. Stone portrays well the mixed messages of potential unity verses the intense desire for power by some leaders.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Book Details:Genre: Suspense, Romance, International Thriller
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: December 2016
Number of Pages: 363
ISBN: 0995150907 (ISBN13: 9780995150904)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
On our cattle ranch in Alberta, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.
For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.
My creative DNA shocked me when I was driven to write a dystopian / paranormal / romance novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild. After taking several writing courses, I presented the manuscript to Omnific Publishing who published it in 2011. Just when I thought I could get my life back, another story took me prisoner – Forbidden. I couldn't believe there was this kind of story within me and desperate to be told. I resisted. It was futile.
Retired and focused on home life, I’m back to being a mom to four pets and one husband. We travel and taste the excitement of other cultures. In between adventures, I’ve dabbled in water color painting, photography, needle work, gardening – the list goes on. In my next life, I plan to explore the cosmos.
I’ve learned a few things in my seventy years. Thoughts are powerful. Intention is everything. Passion is the key to success.
Tour Participants:Click here to view the Forbidden: Better Wear Your Flak Jacket by F. Stone Tour Participants
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy in this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.