Blindfold Game – by Dana Stabenow
Reviewed by Eddie Macloud
Listening Time: 5 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio
Genre: Political thriller
Plot: Two Asian terrorists, brothers who use the name Smith and Jones, are planning a port attack in Alaska. They link up with a pirate and a smuggler, Fang and Hartman. Three friends – Kyle, an FBI agent in Anchorage; Sarah, a female officer in the Coast Guard in the Bering Sea; and Hugh, a CIA agent specializing in Asian threats – try to stop a catastrophe while getting no cooperation from disbelieving bureaucratic superiors.
What was your favorite moment? After her captain is dead, Sarah takes command and rams the Coast Guard cutter into the ship carrying a SCUD missile loaded with a dirty bomb.
Which character was your favorite? Hugh, the CIA agent. He maintains a clear analytical mind despite emotions throughout the threat, even though Sarah is secretly his wife.
Does the book have a message or theme? The theme of the book is the threat to our ports and how vulnerable they are.
What did you like or dislike? The timelines and history, the geography and technical terms were excellent. But I just wish there was a spoken word at the end of each CD to let you know to change to the next CD; instead the story went to repeat and you had to pay attention.
Narrator’s style: Beth McDonald was excellent. This is the first audiobook I can remember with a female narrator, and she did a great job.
How would you grade the book? A+
Soldiers and Slaves – by Roger Cohen
Reviewed by Jack Hadley
Listening Time: 6 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio
Plot: Three hundred fifty American POWs were singled out by the Nazis during World War II because they were Jews or were thought to resemble Jews. They were taken to Berga, a concentration camp in eastern Germany, and put to work as slaves mining tunnels for planned underground fuel factories. They were POWs who were denied their rights under the Geneva Convention and who literally became unwilling participants in the Holocaust. Twenty percent died within the living hell of the camp. Over a period of 10 weeks, they were literally worked to death.
What was your favorite moment? The liberation of the remainder of the U.S. POWs by the U.S. Army. They were thought to be just other prisoners until their fate was made known to the author.
Which character was your favorite? Mordicai Howan, a Hungarian Jew. He’s a music student who ends up in Berga with the Americans and cares for everyone he can, including his dying father, on the death march that is halted by liberation near the Czech border. Surviving, he begins to look for his family.
Does the book have a message or theme? Yes, it is a tale of “man’s inhumanity to man,” of madness, heroism and the failure of justice. What it takes physically and mentally to survive from day to day when everyone is trying to rob and kill you because they want to survive just as desperately as you.