Original Books

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ulterior Motives by Mark Andrew Olsen

Greg Cahill is a disgraced soldier who serves in prison ministry. He is dumbfounded when the US Army calls him, telling him they have a special job for him-one that they feel only he can do. An Al-Qaeda email has been intercepted that reveals secrets of a coming attack on America. The leader of the terrorist cell has been captured, but he isn't talking. He silently clings to his religion in a dark cell. The Army is desperate, therefore, they resort to extreme measures-they want Greg to befriend the man all America hates and, in an offer disguised as clemency, steal important information from him. But then Greg and Omar must flee for their lives under strange circumstances in order to stop the tragedy that is coming upon America.

As usual, Mark Andrew Olsen has crafted a five star idea backed up by extensive research. He has even added to his compliments imperfect characters with personalities. But as one can expect from a terrorist plot, there are problems with the end. An author has yet to craft a five star terrorist plot because they cannot cease meddling with the otherwise realistic end.

Greg has a troubled past, but it is a product of his own wrong choices. He is not a victim of anything but his own doing. This is a plus since this is a character-based plot. The character enactment is realistic. This is something most authors neglect in suspense plots because they believe it to be unnecessary. The fact that Mark has crafted good characters in this book shows that he is growing as an author.

But as with Mark's other books, he couldn't resist fixing a key part of the plot in the end. The plot was already an impossible plot, but he added to it with extra meddling. Other than this, Mark wrote the book to its full potential. If Mark continues to grow as an author, we could be looking at a five star book down the road. It is an encouragement to see that he did not get stuck in a rut with the The Watchers series.

All in all, Mark Andrew Olsen is among the most promising authors for the future.

4.5 stars

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