Thor, Brad. The Last Patriot. London: Pocket Books, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84739-195-7.
This is a page-turning thriller which requires somewhat more suspension of disbelief than the typical book of the genre. The story involves, inter alia, radical Islam, the assassination of Mohammed, the Barbary pirates, Thomas Jefferson, a lost first edition of Don Quixote, puzzle boxes, cryptography, car bombs, the French DST, the U.S. president, and a plan to undermine the foundations of one of the world's great religions.

If this seems to cross over into the territory of a Dan Brown novel or the National Treasure movies, it does, and like those entertainments, you'll enjoy the ride more if you don't look too closely at the details or ask questions like, “Why is the President of the United States, with the resources of the NSA at his disposal, unable to break a simple cylinder substitution cipher devised more than two centuries ago?”. Still, if you accept this book for what it is, it's a fun read; this would make an excellent “airplane book”, at least as long as you aren't flying to Saudi Arabia—the book is banned in that country.

A U.S. edition is available.

March 2010 Permalink