So I click over and immediately go to the books section, start looking through the "mystery and thriller" category because that's my thing, and what do I find?
A book called Banquo's Ghosts by Rich Lowry. The title piqued my interest first, but then I recognized Lowry. Lowry is the guy from the National Review who went all "starbursts" over Sarah Palin. I've seen some of his posts on their blog, the Corner, but they always struck me as right-wing drivel.
But maybe his book is different. He's credited with a co-writer, Keith Korman, and it is a novel, so maybe it's just genre drivel.
But alas, that does not seem to be the case. From the Publisher's Weekly "review":
National Review editor Lowry (Legacy) and Korman (Swan Dive) have written an exciting, intelligent novel that delivers the thriller goods and tosses barbs at do-gooder politicians, government obstructionists, reporters and a wide array of liberal weenies. Unlikely hero Peter Johnson, a mildly buffoonish writer working for the Crusader, a left-wing magazine, is recruited by CIA agent Stewart Banquo for the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist. Banquo figures no one would ever suspect Johnson, known for his drunkenness and willingness to take a bribe, to be working for the CIA. Johnson, who accepts the job for a variety of reasons, heads off to Iran. A series of double crosses lands Johnson in the hands of the Iranians and sets up the rest of the plot involving a chillingly plausible terrorist attack. A major thread left untied points to what should be a much anticipated sequel. Expect a boost from author appearances on Hannity's America.My question: A boost to who?
No, let's just dissect this for a minute. I haven't read a word of the book but I don't really like what I see. Peter Johnson? What kind of lame-ass generic name is that? You're writing a novel. You can come up with any kind of name you want. And you pick Peter Johnson? Why, because Ward Cleaver was taken?
And the "left-wing magazine" is called "the Crusader." Because you know those lefties are on one crusade or another save the trees, the whales, the giant earthworm from Montana that no one's ever seen. Right-wingers never go on crusades. Unless the crusade involves communism, gay marriage, the unborn, or Muslims, of course.
But I digress...
The plot, as far as I can tell, involves "the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist." Now maybe I'm missing something, but isn't the "top Iranian nuclear scientist" kind of like the bottom nuclear scientist in any other country? I mean, you're the guy who specializes in something your country doesn't yet do. Sure, we're playing around in a right wing fantasy-land here, but why couldn't it be a top Russian nuclear scientist working with the Iranians? Better yet, a dissident Pakistani nuclear scientist with sympathies for Al Qaeda working for the Iranians?
I digress even farther...
I love this part though: "A major thread left untied points to what should be a much anticipated sequel." Oh yeah? You sure the guys who didn't come up with "Peter Johnson" of the "Crusader" didn't fuck up and just leave that thread hanging cuz they didn't know what to do with it?
No, it's set-up for the sequel, cleverly called World War III. In bargain bins everywhere next year.