Title: The Spanish Revenge: A Craig Page Thriller by Allan Topol
Craig Page Thriller Book Two
Publisher: Vantage Point Books
Genre: Contemporary, Political Thriller
Length: 418 pages
Book Rating: B+
Review Copy Obtained from Publicist
Craig Page, the bold and daring EU Director of Counterterrorism, becomes the focal point of an effort to stop the feared terrorist Ahmed Sadi, whose goal is to provoke a Muslim uprising in Western Europe. Ahmed, a Muslim fanatic born in Paris to parents who emigrated from Algeria, calls himself Musa Ben Abdil, after a Muslim hero from the Fifteenth Century War with Spain. Page teams up once again the resourceful Elizabeth Crowder, a newspaper reporter who has also become his lover.
Ahmed’s plans become far more menacing when he is joined by Chinese General Zhou, who had been exiled to France for his devious actions in The China Gambit. With Zhou’s assistance, Ahmed’s plan is to launch a horrific attack on the heart of Christianity. At the same time, Ahmed wants to retake militarily for Islam a portion of Southern Spain. He relies upon a medieval parchment he claims to have uncovered, in which Queen Isabella on her death bed in 1504 ceded a portion of Southern Spain to the Muslims in perpetuity. His one main obstacle: Page himself is hot on his trail, determined as ever to save the world from a master criminal. From Spain to Morocco, and beyond to Italy, Page and General Zhou renew their battle, even as Ahmed plots his deadly revenge.
Allan Topol’s The Spanish Revenge is an elaborately plotted intellectual game of cat and mouse as Craig Page and Elizabeth Crowder search for the terrorist responsible for a train bombing in Spain. As their investigation unfolds, Craig suspects Musa Ben Abdil has joined forces with his personal nemesis, General Zhou. With Musa and Zhou one step ahead of them, Craig is in a race against time to stop Musa from executing his nefarious scheme to exact revenge and seek justice for a centuries old act of violence against Muslims.
The Spanish Revenge finds lead protagonists Craig Page and Elizabeth Crowder settled into their lives in Paris. Craig is the director of the European Counterterrorism Agency and Elizabeth is a foreign reporter with the International Herald. Elizabeth is also on verge of signing a lucrative book deal about the growing problem Europe is facing with the influx of displaced Muslims. Craig has reached a somewhat uneasy truce with the members of Counterterrorism Agency and he sometimes fights an uphill battle as he tries to effectively thwart the various threats that are exposed.
Ahmed Sadi is an intriguing character. He is not motivated by religious ideology. Instead he is pursing justice and equality for all Muslims. Ahmed adopts of the persona and doctrine of 15th century Musa Ben Abdil and carefully sets his plan in motion.
General Zhou’s exile from China finds him in France, living well beneath everyone’s radar. He is biding his time, waiting for the opportunity to gain power and continue his plan to make China a superpower. Aided by his wealthy brother who is still in China and some loyal military contacts, Zhou finds himself in position to aid Musa as he carries out his plan to regain control of Spain.
The Spanish Revenge is fascinating mix of past and present and fiction and non-fiction. Mr. Topol provides readers with a valuable history lesson that details how Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand expelled Muslims from Spain if they did not convert to Christianity. He also describes the impact the ever growing Muslim population and the disparity facing them is having on Europe today.
Not as action filled as The China Gambit, The Spanish Revenge is more cerebral as Craig and Elizabeth outthink and outmaneuver Musa and Zhou as they carry out their diabolical plans. Craig and Elizabeth find themselves in peril on a few different occasions when they underestimate their enemy. The suspense climbs to an all time high as the story winds its way to its spectacular conclusion.
Allan Topol fully captivates his audience with plots that resonate with timely and relevant political issues. Engaging protagonists, realistic storylines and worthy opponents keep The Spanish Revenge moving at a brisk pace. I am eagerly anticipating what promises to be an ultimate showdown between Craig Page and General Zhou in the final novel of this compelling trilogy.
Read my review of The China Gambit HERE.
Allan Topol is the national bestselling author of seven novels of international intrigue. He is a graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology who majored in chemistry, abandoned science, and obtained a law degree from Yale University. A partner in a major Washington law firm, and an avid wine collector, Topol has traveled extensively, researching dramatic locations for his novels. He is a contributor to the Yale Law Report, Glenn Beck’s online magazine, and Military.com. You can visit him at www.AllanTopol.com for more information.