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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The Maltese Attack is a political thriller with a unique and interesting twist. Jay Perin employs all the necessary elements that make up a good page-turner and on top of it is characterization. The novel opens with U.S. Senator Temple aboard a search-and-rescue helicopter that is careful not to violate Libyan airspace as they try to retrieve two abducted teenagers. Why a senator like Temple is risking his life in such an operation is that he is partly responsible for playing a role in the tragedy. Temple is a friend to three wealthy oil families who were instrumental in helping him get to where he is now. But his past grave error comes back to haunt him, and it will take more than political will to thwart the threat of a powerful, corrupt businessman who is taking over the energy sector. Problems coming from all fronts will thwart Temple. So much is going on in Libya under Gaddafi’s tyrannical rule, and back home, he must deal with a political rival who has a possible hand in everything that is happening.
Jay Perin gives a rousing narrative from start to finish. He descriptively shows how Temple winds up in such a predicament, which is something that can truly happen in real life as the echelons of politics have always been marred by bribery and corruption. We see tensions between the Libyan and U.S. governments, which were prevalent back in the seventies when Gaddafi was in power. There is a sense of urgency as Temple races against time to rectify matters. The strength of The Maltese Attack hinges on its intensity as it stirs your curiosity to find out if powerful individuals ever get to do time for their crimes. You might find it easy to categorize this novel as a political thriller, but it is more than that. It crosses other genres easily and without the excessive complexity that you find in many of today’s thrillers. This novel is smart and engaging, and the events it presents may well play on your fear that history might repeat itself.