What. a. story.
Discovered a new-to-me author and I'm hooked. Now I am requesting his other novels from my town library. This story was phenomenal.
The Parker family live in Maryland and are quite wealthy. They have a beautiful Cape Cod style home on the river and own boats. Vanessa has her own medical practice and is a very busy doctor. Her husband Daniel is quite wealthy and is a power-broker in Washington, D.C. They enjoy a very comfortable life-style and have one son named Quentin. Quentin is struggling in high school and appears to be self-destructing due to drug usage. Daniel and Vanessa's marriage is also struggling and they seem to have lost their way in trying to salvage it.
Daniel decides to explore a dream they have had for several years of sailing around the world. The trip that he hopes with all of his heart will save his marriage and his son, might actually destroy them. Vanessa doesn't want to leave her patients...nor can she....so it is just Daniel and Quentin who take off.
Meanwhile, in a land a half a world away from America, off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean, Ismail Adan Ibrahim is living a life of crime. This is going against everything he was raised to believe and goes against his own true belief system. He is very young.....yet he feels compelled to hijack ships for ransom in order to buy back his sister Yasmin who was kidnapped by the man who murdered their father and younger brother Yusef. He will do anything...even murder...to get his sister back.
Paul Derrick is the FBI's top hostage negotiator. He is excellent at his job and actually likes it. His twin sister Megan is a successful defense attorney in the Washington, D.C. area. They are at the pinnacle of their careers and earned their way there through hard work, and a strong determination to succeed. Paul is single and Megan is married to a man who has extramarital affairs with his graduate students from the college where he is a professor. Megan knows this and yet keeps giving Simon chances to change. The twins have deep-held secrets from their teenage years when their family suffered a horrible tragedy. They are determined to rise above this and escape all of those memories.
Paul is soon sent to the Indian Ocean to handle a crisis hostage situation. Daniel and Quentin's sailboat has been overtaken by Somali pirates.....and Ismail is the leader. What Paul doesn't realize is just how far this situation will take him and Megan into the past.....and he has no idea about the chances it will give them to redeem their futures.
This book was powerful. At first I thought it was going to be all about the Somali pirate situation that has gone on in the very real world but I soon figured out that it revolves more around the breakdown of Somalia and all of the social, religious, economic and moral issues facing that beautiful land. This book taught me that the pirates often live a life of destruction due to desperation about things going on in their beloved country.
The book seems to center around the concepts of family, tragedy, rising above the horrible circumstances, guilt, forgiveness and love. There is a lot of suspense in the story-line and that really pushes the story forward.
The way the character all join in and meet one another is just so well done. There is even a bit of romance for all of you who like that in a book.
The author has a note at the back of the book that says after learning of the very real hostage situation in 2011 regarding 4 Americans who were kidnapped and killed by Somali pirates, he began to do some research. This story is NOT a plot based on that real life event but he did get the idea to write about the pirates and Americans and the pulse of the plot beckons the reader to fully grasp the "whys" of what the pirates do. He did use actual US government policies in his book and went over to Somali to do his research. He also interviewed many government officials including taking a tour of the FBI Academy and other government places.
This story really made me think about the good of a religion that we only hear the "bad" of....it made me realize that as an American, my heart does sometimes jump to conclusions (and sometimes I'm wrong about those conclusions), about people who are worshiping God in a different way from me.
I was so impressed by this author's plot line, the development of the characters, and the fact that he touches on human rights issues, that I will be looking for his other two novels.
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.