Sunday, March 4, 2012

Abuse of Power Review

I have put this review off for a while.  Particularly I was pretty busy at the time.  However since Michael Savage's new book Trickle Down Tyranny is coming out in about a month, I will do a quick review of his first novel, Abuse of Power.

This is a mystery / thriller novel based in the modern United States and other locations around the world.  The main characters name is Jack Hatfield.  He is a disgraced reporter who once had his own TV show "Truth Tellers," but was fired after justifying the killing of Muslims in order to protect Americans.  The media tore down his reputation and Jack is even banned from entering the United Kingdom for hate speech.  He now spends his days chasing top stories in his never-ending passion to reveal the truth.

In the city of San Fransisco, a typical car jacking turns into a massive investigation after it is discovered the SUV was filled with explosives.  A single Islamic terrorist's attempt to blow up a local government building is unexpectedly thwarted.  A short car chase causes the car jacker to crash the SUV, but the bombs do not explode.  Before the bombs could be disarmed, the bombs detonate and a huge explosion goes off in San Fransisco.  Not wanting to have the Muslim community offended, the FBI and mainstream media immediately reveal their number one suspect as a grass-roots Christian gun club.  Jack, however, has other suspicions.  While searching for the real culprits, he will encounter powerful forces that will not have their master plan so easily thwarted.

Hopefully I did not reveal too much.  This is only a short description of the opening act of the book.  The story has a great length and plenty of details and twists I have not even hinted at.

Now from the description above, a frequent listener of the Michael Savage Show would have definitely seen the author's character and beliefs between the text.  As Jack Hatfield is disgraced and banned from England, Savage also lost a television show for a politically incorrect statement and banned from England because of misinterpreted sound bites and political correctness.  A stand-out trait of Michael Savage is his ability to call things as he sees them even if the view is unpopular.  One of those issues he has discussed to great length is the tiptoe-ing around Islamic terrorism and the demonizing of the American grass-roots movement, namely the Tea Party Patriots.  It would be considered ludicrous to expect any human being to write a book out of passion without seasoning the pages with his or her own beliefs.  I personally like Dr Savage's beliefs and style, so the book is easier for me to enjoy than someone who may hate him.

The political leanings of Michael Savage does show in the text, but it is not the focus of the novel.  Even from the description I provided above, one might suspect Jack Hatfield and by extension Savage outright hates Muslims.  However, listeners and readers of Savage know that he only hates the terrorists and separatists, not the population itself.  In fact, he probably has far more respect for the common Muslim who loves his god, has great work ethic, and strong family values than the liberal sitting in the Starbucks typing up bad poetry while not buying a coffee.  This is a major topic throughout Abuse of Power and attributes to Jack's development as a main character.

During the main story, Savage allows the reader to explore the mind of Jack Hatfield.  Jack has a personality that separates him from other journalists.  He has an obsession with clocks and the truth, lives on a boat in the San Fransisco Bay with his dog Eddie (not to be confused with Savage's real dog, Teddie), and makes observations on the degradation of the American culture and personality.  Jack does hold a bias against the Muslim population.  It is not unjustified.  Jack spent time in the Middle East as a reporter and saw the deaths of American G.I.'s.  In the post-9/11 America, he has seen the threat the country he loves faces.  Of course, Jack's ability to call a spade a shovel lands him with haters who won't allow the truth to get in the way of their personal beliefs about the world.  Jack's investigation into the attempted terrorist attack in San Fransisco leads him to meet many types of Muslims.  Jack learns to see the good that moderate Muslims have in their souls.  By the end of the book, Jack Hatfield has grown from his experiences with Islam.  I dare say, he has a far more tolerant view of Muslims than the college hippies who decry white Americans as the oppressors and the Muslims as the downtrodden.

The flow of this book is just the right pace for me.  The reader is allowed to see the details of the environment around the characters while not getting lost in them.  The story moves from point to point.  Abuse of Power doesn't waste too much time on Shakespearean-levels of dialogue so the reader doesn't turn off.  However, the dialogue that is there is necessary and enriches the story and enjoyment factor.  Don't expect video-game-to-book quality dialogue here.  Not too much, not too little, but just right.

The book is a pretty decent read.  It took me a couple of weeks of off-and-on reading to finish it.  Whenever I had the chance to read it, I was hooked.  I normally read science fiction and dystopian novels.  However, I think I can get into more mystery / thriller books after finishing Abuse of Power.  Michael Savage has hinted at a sequel being in the works.  After reading through this novel, I say I have a little jar set aside to keep money saved for an exciting part two.  I would definitely recommend this book to others who want a good thriller to keep them on the edge of their seats.

I have found a copy of his older 2003 book, the Savage Nation, and I will make it my personal goal to finish it before his new political book hits store shelves.  I will be going out to grab my copy of Trickle Down Tyranny when it releases.  Who knows, maybe I'll have my own story of a green-haired, nose-ringed hipster clerk hiding the books to share with the Savage Nation.  Time will tell.

As for Abuse of Power, I would give it four-and-a-half stars out of five for being a fun book that was just about the right size and had plenty of great characters and twists to keep me reading.  Get it while you still can!

Forsaken Eagle

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