Lion of Babylon, by Davis Bunn (Bethany House Publishers, 2011)
Former special forces operative Marc Royce is drawn back into active duty to find a friend who’s gone missing in Iraq. The problem is, elements of his own government want him to fail.
Marc and a brave Iraqi lawyer named Sameh work with a few trusted contacts in a search for not only the missing US serviceman but four others as well: three Americans and an Iraqi.
I liked the characters, and I enjoyed the taut, fast pace and the details of life in Baghdad. In their quest, Marc and Sameh rescue a group of abducted children. Marc proves himself to the local people as well as to his own, and pulls off some important successes.
Marc and Sameh also find their way into a secret Baghdad church. Sameh faithfully attends a Christian church, despite the stigma this attaches to his family, and Marc is a Christian as well, but both men are amazed at this underground group of worshippers where believers from different ethnic backgrounds worship hand in hand where formerly they’d have been mortal enemies.
Ambassador Walton has another name for coincidences. He calls them fault lines. Points where the mystery may be resolved. [page 75]
He greeted Marc with a grin that divided his face in two, the lower half smiling a welcome, the upper half squinted in warning. [page 162]
I definitely want to read the rest of this series, for the characters, the action (some satisfying explosions!), and for the glimpses of how faith in Jesus is still a powerful force that only gets stronger when pushed underground.
Davis Bunn is a multi-published author in various genres of Christian fiction. Lion of Babylon is book 1 in his Marc Royce Thriller series. Library Journal called Lion of Babylon “One of the top six ‘Best Books of 2011’ in Christian Fiction.”
[Review copy from my personal library.]