Caravan of Thieves. David Rich. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. August 2012. 304 pp. hb. ISBN #9780525952886.
Twenty-five million dollars is stuffed into a body bag in a coffin supposedly holding an American soldier! Just a small part of the money hidden and discovered after Sadaam Hussein's ignominious ending after the second Iraqi War.
Marine Lieutenant Rollie Waters is inadvertently, at first so it seems, drawn into a military mission to find this huge amount of money. First they snag Rollie by saying he lied about doings when his jeep window was shot out. Then they tell him that because he was on a mission in Afghanistan and knows the Middle East so well he knows the whereabouts of this money. His new mission? Find the money or send years in the brig!
It doesn't take long for Rollie to figure out why the officers, one of whom is so vile that Rollie knows several military officers are involved. But he doesn't know precisely who, how or why. First they ask him to find his father, a con artist whom Rollie hates for multiple reasons the reader will discover throughout the story. Then when he does find him, he realizes they have been tailed. Violence erupts and many will die. Torture will follow. But Rollie manages to elude his captors and tracks his way back to where the story began in the Middle East.
To say more would ruin a story that travels throughout America from Camp Pendleton all the way to the Middle East. Rollie is a formidable character because although he despises his father, he has remembered everything his Dad taught him. He is a Marine and a survivor - a thrilling combination that keeps this plot spinning and impossible to pin down, at times even seeming convoluted. More devious male and female characters enter the story midway and the reader will be amazed that Rollie can make sense out of it all. But why not for he has been raised by the Master of Cons!
Caravan of Thieves reads like an espionage novel with two parallel stories keeping the reader guessing and eager to discover when, where, how, and why they will join! Great story!