Love Thy Neighbor. Mark Gilleo. The Story Plant. March 2012. 438 pages. ISBN #: 9781611880342.
Clark Hayden is a very bright graduate student doing specialized work in robotics. But for now he has decided to move back in with his mother who is slowly beginning to demonstrate diminished ability to remember and often breaks out in strange behavior. But she's also taking multiple medications that could have the same effect on a personality, so what is one to think when she sees some strange gentlemen whom she believes to be terrorists? Even more, how is that when she calls the CIA, they really don't take her concern seriously, just as someone missed the connection before 9/11? At first Clark believes his mother is just hallucinating, but soon...
What is one to make of a Pakistani couple with a young daughter suddenly calling Clark to tell him they must return to the Middle East to take care of a dying family member? And what about the overweight neighbor who sees too much and has a very sudden heart attack, to which no one pays much attention as the man was grossly overweight to start? And what about the exploding house with flying pieces that almost hit Clark who is plant-sitting for the absent neighbors?
These acts plus many other clues lead Clark and his new found IRS Agent Liz to do more than speculate. When they find a poison substance and begin to research the disappearance of the Arab couple, everything begins to make sense far too quickly. And what can anyone really do to stop a terrorist act? Many die trying or for just being in the path of the demonic process quietly and calmly leading to an American disaster beyond one's comprehension.
Meanwhile a carefully devised plot to carry out a dire act that will make 9/11 look like a picnic is proceeding. All are obedient to the central leader and those who aren't don't even get a chance to ponder their errors! Add to that the finding of a poison substance and the race is on for Mark and his girlfriend to find the would-be perpetrators and stop the traitorous deed planned for years and now soon to happen.
Mark Gilleo has his finger on the pulse of the two extremes of those pondering terrorism, denial or total immersion in the irrational and emotionally drastic acts stemming from those with a deliberate motivation and skills to carry out such a tragic act. Will these men and one woman be stopped in time to save mankind from one's own worst fears?
Love Thy Neighbor is an interesting, unfortunately dire story about the terrorism working to fulfill its highest goals - to kill, kill and kill some more. Important and well done, indeed, Mr. Gilleo!