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Sword of God    by Chris Kuzneski order for
Sword of God
by Chris Kuzneski
Order:  USA  Can
Juno, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

All right, fans of fast-paced adventure fiction, here is a scintillating new novel that is filled to overflowing with top-notch excitement and an up-to-date focus on current events.

When the action in Sword of God begins, Jonathon Payne - seemingly content to take life easy in his role as a corporate executive in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - is being recalled to active duty by Colonel Joshua Harrington.

As a former member of an elite counter-insurgency combat team, Payne will rejoin David Jones, Payne's former team member and longtime Pittsburgh friend. Their mission is seemingly simple: find out what has happened to Captain Trevor Schmidt, a combat specialist who appears to have mysteriously vanished during an enigmatic incident on Jeju Island, an innocuous little bit of land a few miles off the coast of South Korea.

So, without very many clues to go on, Payne and Jones are on their way to Jeju. Accompanied (against their own better judgment) by a na´ve and inexperienced translator, Sergeant Kia Choi (who also happens to be an attractive woman), the Pittsburgh-based combat specialists arrive on the isolated South Korean island, and they soon discover evidence of brutality beyond human imagination. Moreover, the target of their investigation, Captain Schmidt, seems to have had an ignominious connection to the brutality, and he may (or may not) be one of those many who became victims on Jeju.

One reluctant and elusive witness - a small Korean boy - seems, however, to have heard something (in the aftermath of the brutal incident?) that will force Payne and Jones to radically reconsider everything they had presupposed about their mission and Captain Schmidt. In fact, in a seemingly bizarre (though remarkably plausible) turn of events, Payne and Jones must quickly leave Jeju. They must go instead to where the few clues lead them: Saudi Arabia.

Unless the reactivated warriors can respond quickly and effectively enough, it is in Mecca, at the spiritual core of Islam, that the relative peace and stability of the world is about to be irreversibly shattered. In fact, Payne and Jones - aided by the beautiful archeologist Shari Shasmeen - may be the only ones who can prevent all sorts of hell breaking loose in the form of a worldwide Holy War.

With every well-written sentence and paragraph, the tension and excitement of Sword of God builds to a phenomenal conclusion. Provocative, thrill-ride entertainment at its best, Chris Kuzneski's Sword of God is an absolute must read winner!

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