Killing Sharks

De Profundis

Fiction - Thriller - Terrorist
374 Pages
Reviewed on 03/06/2013
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Author Biography

Eric Wentz is a twenty-six year veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served as an intelligence officer, an interrogator, and a linguist. He has a bachelor's degree in history and English literature, a master's degree in linguistics, and a master of science degree and doctorate in educational administration. His first novel, Piercing the Veil, was published in 2009. He is also a certified SCUBA diver, experienced canoeist, and hunter. Wentz is also an amateur archaeologist who loves to dig up old stuff.
He is currently teaching English literature and working toward a degree in Homeland Security.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' Favorite

"Killing Sharks: De Profundis" by Eric Wentz is in some ways a typical modern political thriller in that it has the elements we have come to associate with such literature – a strong military figure who is something of a maverick, fuzzy ineffectual politicians, a variety of settings in some of the world’s more tortured regions and acts of terror either realized or threatened. However, this novel takes it to a deeper level. The characters are rounded, actions are considered and explained, and there is substance to the emotions portrayed. Lieutenant Commander Grant Chisolm, who has already appeared in a previous novel by this author, is a powerful, resourceful and courageous protagonist, and provides a suitably strong heart for this gritty, pulsating novel. In his new role as liaison officer at Guantanamo he has to have very close dealings with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The threat of terror is constantly there. You will almost forget to breathe when you are reading this book.

The author clearly has a vast knowledge of military matters and history and he shares this with us in this novel. We can’t help but share his fascination as we are pulled into this tightly woven story. We meet a wide cast of characters, from likable and noble to downright evil, and encounter many different emotions. There are touches of humor to lighten the generally serious and suspenseful atmosphere. There is a very helpful glossary of terms which explains terms like jihad, CENTCOM, etc. It is a good thing as you don’t feel silly if these are terms you either haven’t come across before or have never fully understood. There are also notes and a map. I would have preferred not to have the reviews at the beginning of the book. They would be better on the book’s website or at the end. They also mean you have to wait longer to start reading this excellent book. And more is given away by the table of contents with chapters with such headings as ‘Caffeinated Diplomacy’ and ‘A Wary Interview’. Definitely a book to read.

Maria Beltran

The story starts with a narrative of the bloody battle between the Christians and Muslims that occurred 821 years after Hijira, the term that refers to Mohammad’s flight to Mecca. The story then shifts to a military operation hunting the Taliban and Al Qaeda, being led by US Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander Grant Chisolm. He is actually on a mission to avenge his father's assassination by a Lebanon Islamist in 1980. Meanwhile Moustafa Arius Riat al-Haj or detainee 9696 is being escorted to the infamous US prison base camp at Guantanamo in Cuba. The paths of these two enigmatic men, who are on the opposite sides of the terrorist war between the East and the West, will finally converge when Chisolm becomes a liaison officer in Guantanamo. The soldier's professional and personal battle against these jihadists will eventually force him to try to understand the Islamist and will make him realize the gravity of the task that he faces.

"Killing Sharks: De Profundis" is a profound story that touches on the conflict between Christians and Muslims. This conflict is actually ongoing for hundreds of years and it looks as though it will continue till eternity. Told in beautiful prose and with a deep knowledge of what is really going on in the Middle East, Lebanon, Guantanamo and other terrorist hotbeds, Eric Wentz actually presents us with a world that is in a dilemma. He also tells us that not all Muslims are bad, just as there are many colors of the spectrum among Christians. As we journey from the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan to Guantanamo prison in Cuba, the author gives us a picture of what is going on in the head of a jihadist so that perhaps we can also understand them. Indeed, reading this book lets us go on a journey into the depths of the mind of a terrorist who is waging a war against the West today.

Kathryn Bennett

"Killing Sharks: De Profundis" by Eric Wentz is a book that will take you from Afghanistan to the bottom of the ocean. Hero Lieutenant Commander Grant Chisolm is one of the good guys who will do whatever it takes to take out the bad guys. The Navy Seal is brought face to face with the terrorists at his assignment in Guantanamo and as always he is running against the clock to stop attacks before they happen.

Eric Wentz has created a thriller that is current and gripping. You cannot help but feel pulled into the fire of the situations in this book because they are so well-written. For me it has been a while since I read a modern military thriller because they were all starting to sound the same. I am glad that I took the time to read "Killing Sharks". It is fresh in the situations it creates and is really a book that takes you into them. I really enjoyed the character of Lieutenant Commander Grant Chisolm. He is a guy I could invite to my house to have a drink and toast his good work for his country. I could not see any of the obvious twists one normally looks for in a thriller in this book. Anyone who enjoys a good military book and a good thriller is going to enjoy "Killing Sharks". It is a well-done bit of work that makes me want more. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good book even if it is outside of their usual genre.