Genre: Political Thriller
This is probably one of the best-researched books I’ve ever read, and that thought stayed with me until the end. What Wilmering’s done is take the terror of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and transplant it to California.
No Safe Place follows FBI Agent Erin Walker and Homeland Security agent John Anderson as they trace the steps of Ansar Inshallah, a Muslim terrorist group, through destruction after destruction. Multiple viewpoints inform the book, but John and Erin remain our central players.
Wilmering fills her thriller with a fantastic amount of tension. The stakes start high and only get higher as the story progresses. It’s a lot of response for our heroes. They receive the call, they go in, disarm, leave. We get small glimpses into John and Erin’s relationship, but not much. As a result, I didn’t connect with John and Erin as much as I would’ve liked. We remain a safe distance from them for a majority of the book.
The multiple viewpoints irked me a little bit. It’s a personal thing, but I’m not an enormous fan of using a viewpoint for the express purpose of setup, and that happens a couple times. For instance, we follow one of the sleeper agents as she prepares to blow up a bus. Personally, I’d rather have not seen that coming so I could’ve been surprised with John and Erin when they received the news. Again, that’s just me.
There are also a few info-dumps, where Wilmering just feeds us information instead of weaving it into the plot. They didn’t jerk me out of the story, but they tended to be a bit distracting.
There’s a LOT that the book gets right. There’s the intense plot, the fantastic insertion of Ansar Ashallah’s sleeper agents, and a great plot twist that sets up the end (and literally made me gasp). The story is good, and it’s an entertaining read. So if it sounds like something you’re interested in, pick it up. You’ll enjoy it despite its flaws.
No Safe Place is available:
-Print version available in paperback.
-Electronic version available in .mobi, .prc, .pdf, .rtf, and plain text.