Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Fund by H. T. Narea

The Fund. H. T. Narea. Tom Doherty Associates, LLC. May 2011. 264 pages, hb. ISBN #: 9780765328908.

Fadiyah, a Berber Muslim from North Africa, runs after her older brother, Sajid, and he realizes there is no more time. He then proceeds to blow himself up in the middle of Madrid-Barajas Airport. So begins a cycle of planning and implementation of terrorist activities that is all too familiar but is shown in its precise financial planning within this novel that defies the reader's stereotypical predictions!

The central characters are Katerina Molares, part of the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. and Nebibi Hashem a Milanese-born Egyptian Muslim. Nebibi's priority is sharia-based finances that will further the jihad terrorist activities to spread the sword and word of Allah. He is brilliant and ruthless as we see in th opening chapters where a colleague who has stolen a fortune has both his arms severed by a sword. Sharia law believers are serious and intolerant of the slightest deviation. Now he begins to oversee the movement of funds to legitimate but hidden spots that appear as innocent businesses in the Cayman Islands, Venezuela, and Gibraltar, as well as other smaller locations. Those taking part have huge political and financial aspirations but fail to appreciate or know about the larger mission being forged, called Operation Andalus. Courage-enhancing serum drugs, a disease-producing viral shot, and more add to the tension of this mad scheme to destruction!

Kate is about to be unwittingly compromised which may indirectly aid the enemy. She has been assigned to find out the source of some of these moving funds from a Zurich bank to a Cuban account to a Swiss account. The DIA suspects it is related to Al Qaeda's terrorist activities but so far the trail is cold. The Madrid bombing gives all the senses that the time to find the source is rapidly losing ground. The reader will be gripped by pages and pages of international intelligence, counterintelligence, and journeys spanning the globe to race toward a satisfactory solution to the financial dilemma leading to critical chaos.

From here you must read, so that this review won't be a spoiler. But beware if you think there's a "good guys get bad guys" final scenario. The actual ending chapters of this novel will horrify one and yet draw one to keep reading because of its all too real plausible and devastating events. The Fund is a large novel about the peaceful and violent world of fighting the war on terrorism that one wants to put down but cannot because of its gripping, dominoes-like progression. Gripping, intelligent, fear-filled, courageous, devious and honorable characters push this story to its startling end! Nicely done, H. T. Narea!

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