This patriotic adventure paints a picture of dedicated CIA agents without overlooking the complex moral situations they find themselves in.
Priyesh Patel’s Moralis Aleam is a political thriller in the classic Clancy style, filled with action and drama and with no one escaping suspicion.
A preface describes moralis aleam (moral hazard) and its place in the world of today: when people feel safe from the penalties of actions, they don’t have to consider all choices and outcomes. This settles an overarching attitude over the novel that calls all characters’ actions into moral question, no matter what their rank happens to be within the government.
The story follows several CIA agents and the president of the United States as they investigate a global threat from a mysterious and extremely dangerous cult. The threat combines multiple financial crisis, terrorism, and drug cartels. Eventually, the director of the CIA takes his team to the Vatican so they can interrogate the retired Pope Benedict, as well as a man the pope imprisoned for life, called simply Theonydas.
The novel itself has a traditional setup, with a plot that effectively builds based on questions that need answers and characters who move toward conflict resolution. While the bulk of the story is told through flashback, the tale is linear and straightforward. It is not a complicated story, but it is entertaining and action-packed. It is set up such that information is consistently being revealed; however, very little of the mystery can be actively solved on one’s own.
The characters’ attitudes fluctuate without ever undergoing any serious sense of change or development. Each agent has a role that they play, and they don’t stray far from those roles. This makes their actions predictable and dependable, adding a nice level of security to a constantly twisting plot. Dialogue is basic and serves mainly to move the story along, revealing clues that the CIA agents have put together. Language is descriptive but never overbearing in its fancifulness.
This is a thoroughly modern story that examines the difficult decisions people in power must make when counteracting those in the world who believe that their ends justify their means. Such themes make for a good jaunt through a quick-moving adventure.
Moralis Aleam is a patriotic adventure that paints a picture of dedicated CIA agents without overlooking the complex moral situations they find themselves in as they deal with interrogations and the pursuit of terrorists.
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