The hero of this story is a twenty-six year street agent of the FBI. During his storied career he has worked undercover helping rid the world of drug dealers, pedophiles, and contract killers. Before that he was both a Marine and a law school graduate. Did I leave out anything? Oh yes – Bob Hamer isn’t even a character in Enemies Among Us; he is the author! Hammer’s personal knowledge of how the FBI works and the very real war on terror since 9/11 shines through in every single page of this thriller from Fidelis Books, the new imprint of B&H Publishing.
Now to the hero of the novel: Matt Hogan is a man’s man fighting a very unconventional war on the streets of Los Angeles. He is street smart, committed, and also has a penchant for getting in trouble with his superiors. When he wrecks a bureau provided Harley while pursuing an Arab drug runner Hogan ends up undercover at a charity medical clinic. First convinced he is chasing shadows in a dead-end assignment he realizes something is being planned by someone using the charity as a front. But who? If you want the answer to that you’ll have to get the book.
Matt Hogan is the kind of hero faith-based fiction so desperately needs. He is a real man. Hogan’s wife is a believer that loves her husband and gently nudges him in the right direction. He is a devoted husband that worships his wife but is yet to be persuaded to follow her path. Hogan has real emotions. There’s nothing sugar coated about him or this story. The battle to thwart the attempts of terrorist cells to carry out Jihad once again on the West isn’t pretty and won’t be won with flowery speeches or good intentions and our hero knows that too well.
Bob Hamer does a great job of presenting intense action, hard boiled dialogue, and not-so-nice realities without dragging the reader through Hollywood’s usual stereotypical language and gore. He proves it requires being far more creative as a writer to paint the indelible image of evil without warping the reader’s mind at the same time. He never once uses one of George Carlin’s famous seven banned words yet leaves the reader with no doubt what the stresses of this war can do to even to the best of the good guys. We also aren’t given paper cut out bad guys. Some are driven by ideology, some by fear of what will happen to their families in other countries, and some are only bad by association. In fact, even our main character is surprised by who comes to his aid along the way.
The author weaves the story of Matt Hogan’s wife, her faith, and the demons of his past masterfully into the tapestry of the novel without seeming forced. Undercover activities against terrorism and a child having heavenly visions don’t seem a fit but in Enemies Among Us it all makes perfect sense – a testament to the power of this author’s voice. I can’t express enough that this is how faith-based fiction ought to be written. The characters act like people in the real world. Though much of the mainstream media ignores it, in the real world some people are kind, some are evil, some have a deep faith in God, and some have lost their way. In the real world those people walk the streets together, work together, and at times are thrown into horrible situations together. For our hero it is in such a situation he at last finds answers, or at least the hope of answers, to the sleeper cell within his own heart.
Reviewed by Tim George
Publisher: Fidelis Books
Publication Date: March 2010
This entry was posted on Friday, May 14th, 2010 at 8:34 am and is filed under Book Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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