Friday, November 27, 2009

Toxin-Paul Martin Midden

Paul Martin Midden
Millennial Mind Publishing, Mar 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9781589824928

Professor Isadore Hathaway, daughter of a deceased US senator, calls Senator Jake Telemark to ask him to meet her at the Emporia Restaurant in Alexandria immediately. Although she provides no reason why he should as they never met before he joined the “club” after her late dad left it; Jake accepts the date. At the restaurant, instead of sitting down to dine, Isadore leads Jake out the back door to a car where she tells him the horror she learned that is occurring to the United States.

Dora swears that twelve highly placed right-wing extremists “The Bookkeepers” were planning a coup d’etat. Religious fanatics, the Bookkeepers want to install a theocracy. The professor defends her claim explaining when she points out the incredibly high numbers of judges, some in perfect health, who died in the last few months; all strongly support separation of state and church. Furthermore the Bookkeepers plan chemical and nuclear attacks on American targets as a ploy to anger citizens against Muslims and killing opponents. Finally Dora raises Jake’s background as a former military-assassin who suffered a PTSD breakdown. She believes he is one of the few hopes there is to prevent the Bookkeepers from succeeding on their Machiavellian scheme. Soon afterward Denver proves time ran out.

Before 9/11 this theme would be considered in the realm of science fiction, but with the Patriot Act, the opposition to try terrorists in criminal courts, the road to the Iraq War, the health care debate and the politicalizing of Justice, etc. makes Toxin feel very plausible. The story line is fast-paced and filled with straight forward action as Dora and Jake team up to prevent a home grown catastrophe, but neither know who else to bank on. Fans will appreciate this cautionary conspiracy thriller as the premise seems too frighteningly feasible.

Harriet Klausner