The Obelisk – Howard Gordon (2011)-A Running Man Review


This is a debut novel from an American TV producer who has the series “24” and “Homeland” amongst his credits. Misleading cover alert here with a view of the White House and Obelisk with a character running towards it, whereas “The Obelisk” is a name of an oil rig in the South China Seas where most of the action takes place. Gideon Davies, a UN peace negotiator is called upon to take part in the capture of his brother, a rogue mercenary who is leading a team of suicidal jihadists. This leads to the rig being seized by a group of terrorists and no one knowing what side anyone is on. If it all sounds preposterous, it is, but it is also very readable and well-paced (although like a number of the particularly American authors of this genre, there is a tendency to become bogged down in “the hardware” where mechanical details and explanations get in the way of the action.) It is actually a good solid example of this type of novel and in Gideon Davies Gordon has the makings of a very useable character. Since the publication of this book he has helped save the world in three subsequent novels “Gideon’s War”, “The Chamber” and “Hard Target”.   threestars


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