Thursday, April 14, 2011
One Book : One Day: One Heartfelt Novel: Remember 9/11
Title: The Watchman Of Ephraim
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Ash, cinders, smoke and fog filled the air, blinded the vision and burned the hands, faces and bodies of many as the two planes minutes apart crashed into the Twin Towers forever changing the skyline of our magnificent city and leaving in its wake a carnage that would forever be embedded in the mind, hearts and soul of every American. Air permeating with a foul and burnt smell that would remain as a lingering perfume that would haunt those that live near what is now names ground zero forever, one man, Kris DeNiro, shares his story with everyone as he remembers that fateful morning when all he wanted to do was present his precious wife, Lisa with some magnificent roses, take her to breakfast and savor the life he so proudly loved not knowing seconds later it would all end. 8:46 A.M. on September 11, 2001 would be the time that no one would ever forget. Walking into the North Tower, carrying these magnificent roses, Cris witnesses a sight that he would never forget, a pain that seared through his entire body and a loss that would never be replaced. As he walked to the elevators only to be shot back, burned, pushed and thrown into a heap on the street. Clothes on fire, body burned and trying to make sense of what happened, he manages to help a woman in distress, answers his cell phone only to hear his wife’s plea for help hoping it was not too late. As the author allows the reader to hear Lisa’s voice, her final words and experience the pain and agony of one man, who goes back into the building only to be forced to turn back. As he walked up the steps and made it to the 30th floor one firemen who would become a lifelong friend, ushers him back outside. Explaining that his sons needed him and that there was nothing they could do to save those on the 104th floor where his was trapped, Cris made his way back down, left the towers and had to find a way back into the world that would never be the same and deal with a pain, or permanent throb that would always be a reminder of that horrific day.
Moving to Las Vegas, millionaire, Cris DeNiro started over again along with Lisa’s brother and his best friend Ricci. Starting their own business they would soon become involved in missions so dangerous and grave putting them in danger yet, hopefully saving the world from another September 11th. Working his way to the top of the hedge fund world, he becomes the owner of his own counter terrorism agency. As De Niro reads from the Bible, he finds a passage titled the “Watchman of Ephraim,’ a defender who watched and defended his land. Buying into this counter terrorism agency he decides to form sculpt, form and create one that would mirror the original of the Watchman for the United States.
Cris DeNiro sent his brother-in-law to begin work as President of the new counter terrorism agency The Watchman Agency formerly Liberty Defense Contractors. Upon entering the office he encounters a pompous man named Les Pastek acting as President and another Charley Santappai, Director of Operations. But, that changes in as heartbeat as Ricci enlightens everyone and explains to Pastek his new role or fate.
At a gathering at his home in Las Vegas close friend and firefighter, Keith Tompkins asks Cris for a favor. Prominent in the news is the building of a mosque at Ground Zero that many; especially the family of the victims and Cris are opposed to. Enlisting his help to find out more about who is behind it and hoping he can some how buy the property of stop the construction of it, causes Cris, unknowingly to come front and center with the man that would eventually try and bring down a lot more than the Twin Towers. Hiding behind his true agenda, and pretending to want to know his views on the mosque being built there, Cris discuss his viewpoint as this man puts his people on alert and wants to find out more about our billionaire mogul.
The ten-year anniversary is coming up. A sober reminder of the horror of that day. What could be next? Are we ever going to be safe? As DeNIro viewed the site-remembered the day, you hear his voice, echo his words on the page as he reminds us of how many were buried alive there in what many of us call a true burial ground and building anything there would desecrate the memory of those lost and much more.
As he reflects and is approached by one man who questions his feelings about this mosque not realizing that he could soon be more than the downfall of our country. Victims reduced to ash on contact, soot, dust and cinder how could anyone in due conscience think to build on such sacred ground. But, the man, Aref Zamani masks his thoughts and marks his words. Alert! Red! Flash! Zamani- sends his men to investigate Cris. Would he realize the danger before it is too late?
As the true or prime focus of this company is brought to light we learn the history involved and behind the name Watchman and the reason why he formed this company. Purpose: Never let your guard down. Protect your country. Since our government had no warning nor did the American people- We were caught off guard that day- not forewarned by our intelligence organizations and the end result we all know.
As the new team and heads get to work and form their teams and choose their respective staffs, Cris informs Mugsy, Charlie and Johnny F the new head of intelligence and security of the real reason behind the agency and the Black Ops unit he needs to form and keep under the radar of everyone. ArchAngel: Never again will he allow what happened to his wife Lisa happen again. Just what this group will do and who will run it and how many men will be involved that remains to be seen.
Intel information alerts Cris about an operation in Mexican dealing with a dangerous drug cartel. Sending two men to investigate and find out more information should have been no problem. But, there’s a plant or traitor working within their walls whose feeding Zamani information and the end result proves fatal when they come face to face with their killers. Through the information found in their new Big Brother computer network they learned about a 25 million dollar cash flow related to a Mexican operation. Knowledge needed: Is this money funding the building of the mosque or something else? Frustrated whey they do not hear from the agents, what they learn will leave permanent chills down your spine after you read the events so expertly described by this outstanding author. What really ads to the plot is the author allows the reader to hear the inner thoughts, conflicts and emotions of each character when he/she expresses doubt, fear or conflict.
Truth be told and the traitor uncovered what happens next will alert this person of impending danger when teaming up with the wrong side. But, although injured and hurt what happens next creates fear in the minds of the terrorist forcing them to take stronger action and hopefully revenge on the one man he is really after: DeNiro.
DeNiro’s team finds out more than these people realize and the race to see which side will succeed is definitely on and the starting gun has already been fired.
As Charley and the crew of the Santana go on a recovery mission and hopefully bring back the two agents, they face other adversaries before the truth about what really happened to the men is revealed. The end result will cause your heart to race, ignite your energy and create a definite rise in your anxiety level as you cannot put the book down, rush to turn each page and wait for the explosive ending.
Thinking he can bring down DeNiro hacking into his network, Zamani is toying with the wrong man and just might be out of his league. The Watchmen are smart, clever and crafty and definitely not to be under estimated and Americans: never underestimate us either!
Each member on high Orange Alert at all times using methods not often conventional, you come to route for their success and with they were not just part of the author’s imagination in this first rate thriller.
Underlying this plot is one between Cris and Moriah that is not fully developed but hopefully will unfold in the future. Each losing a spouse on September 11, 2001, their feelings even after ten years raw, and the memories fixed in their minds, they are not ready to fill that empty void. Will they in the future remains to be seen as the main even has not been unfolded. Meeting her at a July 4th gathering the author allows the reader to her thoughts feels and entertains her doubts about meeting his billionaire and his two sons. Will something happen between them? That remains to be seen.
The truth behind Zamani’s miss is revealed and the players are all in place- bomb is set to explode and the martyrs thinking they will succeed. A bomb is supposed to explode over Las Vegas is the goal? Can he be stopped? Wait and see! What they have planned is so far creative that no one will expect it. Invade DeNiro’s ranch- capture or interrogate him but first they have plans for his kids, staff and more- horrific, deadly-bone-chilling to say the least.
As the phones go dead, computers compromised, leaks revealed- what happens next you will not believe as the enemy finds it way to close to its targets. Battle lines drawn- on site combat- families in danger. DeNiro needs to work fast as ArchAngel and Shadow Wolves team up to fight for their lives when the enemy comes knocking at their front door.
But, just who would deliver this package and where will it land? One twist, turn and surprise that I cannot reveal: You can place your bets on the roulette wheel as to who comes out the winner: Red the Enemy or Black DeNiro!
Just what happens you will not expect and will surprise the reader. One-man fights not only for his family, county and the memory of his wife Lisa, but those who gave theirs on 9/11 and those who lost theirs fighting this war you have to read for yourself. Who wins and who loses? Just how many lives are sacrificed and what is next for the team of the Watchman- only the author Gerard demerging knows that for sure. Let’s hope he brings Cris, Brian, Johnny F, Michelle and the rest back again in a sequel to this great thriller. This book is a sober reminder that we must never let our guard down, we must fight for our country and we must remember those who gave their lives that horrific day. Tuesday: September 11, 2001: Never Again!
I dedicate this review to all those who lost their lives that day and to the author’s friend Daniel and to Janine Gonzales my student who died in the first tower.
A book so well written and filled with suspense it kept me on the edge of me seat and I read it in one day.
Thank you for giving me the honor or reviewing your book.