A Novel

Fiction - Thriller - Terrorist
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 05/20/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Leda by author A.A. Eimont is a terrorist thriller novel with a highly literary quality to it. The plot focuses on Leda as its central heroine, a highly unlikely figure from a background severely underrepresented in modern fiction. A physician in her seventies, Leda comes from a country club life style where she has mingled with the best of the best for years. Now at the apparent conclusion of her life, she suddenly finds herself tempted to visit a refugee camp in Palestine where she becomes embroiled in its political struggle. Seduced by Talib, a young Egyptian physician, Leda is spotted as the ideal recruit for terrorism. She is so unlikely to be suspected wherever she goes that Leda discovers she has aptitude and success in the field. While she begins to plot the end of her own life as a sacrifice for her cause, we are treated to her deeply psychological journey.

A.A. Eimont writes superbly on the topics of psychology, philosophy and radicalisation as we delve into the mind of our unusual heroine. Leda is a darkly triumphant novel written in elegant literary prose and is well researched on all sides. From the lives of her fellow physicians to vivid and accurate descriptions of the Middle East, the novel smacks of authenticity and invites readers into a vivid and frighteningly realistic world. The issues of human rights, and the line between terrorist and freedom fighter is blurred spectacularly by Leda’s incredible journey in which it is easy to see what lies on both sides of the coin.

Patricia Day

In Leda: A Novel by A.A. Eimont, Leda is married, wealthy, childless. To all intents and purposes, she has a life many dream about. She is fastidious about her appearance and maintains a social calendar that connects her with other prestigious people. She leads an idyllic existence until her curiosity is aroused by the plight of the Palestinians. She is outraged by their treatment at the hands of the Israelis and is determined to make her life more meaningful by helping in whatever way she can.

With the consent of her beloved husband, and the help of a college friend, she embarks on a mission to see the refugee camps herself. Once there, she is immediately enamoured by the attentions of an Egyptian physician, whose goal is to enrol her in a plan to get world attention. In other words, he wants her to become a terrorist for his cause. He tenaciously pursues her and she falls for his ploy. As the story progresses, Leda finds herself embroiled in more than she can handle at times, as diplomatic pressures give her cause to suspect duplicity in not only world politics, but also in the promises of those she should be able to trust. This revelation propels her into a world of shadowy exploits. A dangerous place.

This is a very engaging story. It is an interesting mix of relationships, politics, terrorist activity, and trust. I found myself horrified at some of her choices, while completely understanding why she reaches certain decisions. Does she aspire to her personal goals to help a beleaguered people, or does she join a terrorist plan? Brilliant story. This is an excellent book, and good for most audiences.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Leda: A Novel by A.A. Eimont is a thriller. Leda is a rich, retired physician with no children, who finds herself drawn into becoming a terrorist. Against the better wishes of her husband, Leda goes to the refugee camps in Palestine to work with her Muslim friend. Watching the conditions of the camp under the Israelis, Leda becomes radicalized and finds herself attracted to Talib, a young Egyptian physician. He physically seduces her while they are on a camel trip through the desert, on the way to Palmyra, and asks her to help him fight for the downtrodden people. He wants her to get into the government at the highest level, so she befriends the wife of the Vice-President. Leda performs a terrible act of killing. Now find out what drove her to do it, and what goes on inside the mind of a woman you wouldn’t suspect of being a terrorist.

Leda: A Novel by A.A. Eimont is a fascinating read. Packed with political, medical and philosophical debate, it is one of the most up to the minute books I have read in a long while. It gives some insight into what may go through the minds of some of the people who get radicalized, and what drives them. The plot was very well thought out and complex, but not so much so that it couldn’t be followed. Character development is excellent, leaving you in no doubt as to the mind set of the main protagonists, and letting you get to know them more or less intimately. The story followed a natural course with plenty going on for a reader to get their teeth into. I think this is the kind of story that would appeal to a very wide range of readers. I also think it would suit being made into a film, or even a TV series. Excellent story, I look forward to reading more.

Ica Iova

Leda: A Novel by A.A. Eimont is a fictional tale of an unlikely terrorist. Leda is a retired, wealthy American physician, who feels she has to do something significant, something that would give meaning to her life, perhaps even make a difference in the world. She finds that "something” when she takes a journey to Damascus where she joins Aliyah, her Muslim friend from college, to work with Palestinian refugees. It is there that she meets a young and handsome Egyptian physician, Talib, who introduces her to radicalized ideals. The death of her husband, which she blames on the American government, her attraction to the young Egyptian, and her experiences with Israeli control of the West Bank make her vulnerable to radicalization. But it’s a medical diagnosis that convinces her that death for a cause is better than a natural course of events.

Set against the backdrop of Palestinian territories and refugee camps, Leda by A.A. Eimont is a fast-paced story, filled with twists and turns that give the reader a good look at problems in the Middle East and facts that many Palestinians are faced with on a daily basis. A.A. Eimont introduces us to a facet of Palestinian life that we don’t usually see in the western media headlines. I loved the psychological development of Leda’s character — from an old, wealthy, American woman, who as a member of the Conservative Club rubs shoulders with dignitaries and politicians — to a radicalized terrorist. It proves how little it takes for a human mind to shift from point A to point B.

Deborah Lloyd

The fiction work, Leda: A Novel, by A.A. Eimont, begins with the nagging question - what does a retired ophthalmologist, who decided not to have children decades earlier, do with her time? Dr. Leda Eimont is successful in every way – she has a rewarding career; enjoys a fulfilling marriage with a wealthy businessman, Arthur Lodge; pursues literature, the arts and intellectual conversations; she has many accomplished and supportive friends. Leda practices her Catholic faith, leading her to have strong opinions about politics and social justice. Leda decides to join a long-time Muslim friend from her college days, Aliyah, working in the Palestinian refugee camps near Damascus. A relationship with a young Egyptian radical extremist, as well as some terrifying experiences while living in the Middle East, change the course of her life. Becoming involved in a terrorist plot to assassinate the President of the United States becomes her new mission.

Leda: A Novel, by A. A. Eimont has it all – interesting and believable characters, an engaging plot, travel to several countries, international intrigue and suspense. It is a page-turning thriller with unexpected twists and turns. The author is an excellent writer as he carefully crafts a credible tale with almost implausible circumstances. At the same time, he presents many insights into Middle Eastern culture (and modern day refugee camps, from the eyes of physicians) that will be unforgettable to any reader of this book. It will broaden and perhaps challenge a reader’s understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A most fascinating read!