REVIEW: 18 Billion by Jack Gresham

18 Billion
by Jack Gresham

Copyright: 2009
Pages: 337
Rating: 3/5
Read: Feb. 4-7, 2010
Challenge:  2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; Thriller & Suspense 2010
Yearly Count: 6

First Line: The man approaching teller number three carried a rectangular black leather briefcase.

Blurb from the back of the book:
In Washington, D.C., a cell of Afghan terrorists – armed with a nuclear weapon – conspire to rob the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of eighteen billion dollars. They plan to fund and curry favor with Mohammed of Babylon, an international negotiator and proponent of peaceful jihad who is rumored to be the Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer of Islam. Mohammed, shocked to find himself the center of religious extremism, attempts to right the wrong done to the United States without betraying the trust of his people. Meanwhile, the government’s investigation into the terrorist cell behind the threat uncovers a more frightening plot. An international corporation called Global Consultant Ltd. appears to be funding and manufacturing global terrorism for their own purposes. The corporation, driven by greed rather than ideology, has the feds wondering how far their influence reaches and what it will take to counter the terrorism already set in motion.

My opinion: (some SPOILERS are included)
I received this book to review from Maia Levenson from Phenix & Phenix Publicity. This would not have been a book that I would have ever picked up in a bookstore. This is a little bit out of my normal reading, and I think that that is what initially attracted me to this book. However, I was slightly disappointed in it. First of all, there were more than a few grammatical errors (I know I’m a stickler for that, but it’s definitely a pet peeve of mine). I also didn’t really care for the writing style, I found myself having to re-read a lot of paragraphs because I found myself losing track of who was speaking and what was really going on. Personally, I felt like the first half of this book was much better than the second. Pretty much everything that went on after the robbery at the Fed in regards to the government and their plans, well that was unbelievable to say the least. The overall story got a little bogged down for my taste with all the descriptions by the different government agencies in regards to how they were going to unravel the conspiracy behind the terrorists and the nuclear threat. There was so much jumping around between the different characters that it was a little bit confusing at times. I thought that Mr. Gresham could have made it a little more believable if some of the government agencies had made a few wrong turns here or there in regards to tracking the communications, the terrorists and the businesses involved. Everything went a little too smoothly for my taste – the robbery occurred, but the bombs were never set off – the money was returned – the terrorists were caught, etc. It was all just a little too cookie-cutter clean. Sure, this is the first book in a planned series, so maybe some of the answers are in subsequent books, but I’m not sure I would continue on with this series. Overall, I wouldn’t consider this a bad book, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

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