Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Review — The Shekinah Legacy

The following review appears at and focuses on social pressures that undermine trust.

Author Gary Lindberg
ISBN-13: (Trade) 978-0-9848565-0-3
ISBN-13: (Kindle): 978-0-9848565-2-7
Ebook ISBN-13: 978-0-9848565-1-0

When Gideon, a special ops agent, meets a top Mossad chief in India, he asks, “We worked together before…can I trust you now?” That question drives Gary Lindberg’s thriller, The Shekinah Legacy. Lindberg’s novel races with the peril thrust on CCN reporter Charlotte Ansari as she discovers several shadowy groups wanting to kidnap her because of a relic she might possess.

Readers become immersed with questions of who trails Charlotte, who is protecting her, and how can they trust the answers from factions when Pakistanis work with the Mossad, and the CIA seems to counter the Vatican…or does it? And where does Gideon fit in?

Coping with trust is the major theme that wrings our hands throughout the story. Readers are cast into questioning how much their religion or government shovels propaganda to protect a power elite. And Charlotte, the protagonist, wonders how much she can trust her family.

Exploring trust rarely happened prior to the nation’s trauma from Watergate or the shock from 9/11. Since then, trust has filled the thriller genre. But even most thrillers take the reader into only doubting trust from one major faction. Our storytelling has gone way beyond the good guys-bad guys days of James Bond where 007 could rely totally on MI5. Smiley’s People made the reader expect to distrust political agendas. Even Van Lustbader’s Nicholas Linnear shows how the reader can not trust a family member or a colleague at times. But Lindberg throws the reader no life line — at any given time, any trusting is likely to hurt.

Readers are tossed into a world where the secure floor of religion falls from under them. Most Christians recognize the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Charlotte’s quest to save her mother, she runs into possible distortions of basic religious tenets. Lindberg has cleverly delved into history to trace possible questions about the early development of three major religions. And why is the Vatican hiding information?

Thrillers expect readers not to trust political agendas. But usually one major alliance helps the protagonist weave through the maze of hostile factions. Charlotte might trust the CIA, but then could be safer with Mossad…or not. Pashtuns are the enemy, but are they led by a Mossad agent? Can Charlotte trust the secret group of protectors who trail her? But they have ties to both the CIA and Mossad.

While Charlotte navigates trust issues with religion and politics, she would feel better if she could trust her family. But her long lost father cloaks a secret life. Her son has Asperger’s so she can not fully trust his input…or can she? And her husband is back in the States preoccupied with financial woes.

Thrillers are not about political espionage. Thrillers take readers into a special place to reexamine themselves. A novel’s struggle occurs on a worldwide stage, the conflict mushrooms beyond the narrow scope of the reader. Characters like Charlotte look at themselves through a new philosophical lens. That exploration helps all people see the world from another angle.

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