Monday, February 5, 2018

Book Review: 'Beyond All Recognition' by Kenneth Eade

Kenneth Evade may be best known to readers as the author of ’Bless the Bees: The Pending Extinction of our Pollinators and What We Can Do To Stop It, and A Bee, See: Who Are Our Pollinators and Why Are They In Trouble? - two superlative books about his concern for our environment, a topic he takes to the top level in his superb books. Eade is an international business lawyer, based in Los Angeles, specializing in international law, Internet Law, appeals and complex litigation. He is a member of the Bar of California, the federal District Court for the Central District of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. He holds a Juris Doctor in Law from Southwestern University School of Law, and a B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Northridge. He is also an accomplished filmmaker and a freelance writer for the Los Angeles Daily Journal as well as an environmentalist.

What most readers who hear the name of Kenneth Eade now think about is the name Brent Marks – a very special breed of Perry Mason cum Jason Bourne cum Jack Ryan et al – men who face tough action with skill and finesse. Eade bring back his established character Brent Marks (Marks is the Americanization of his true last name, Marquez, which indicates the flavor of this potentially controversial book), the lawyer who yearns for cases more interesting that those assigned to a `poor man's lawyer.' And once again he is in top form as he uses his ‘created lawyer’ Brent Marks (this is Book 9 in that series!) to demonstrate the very current controversy of the military industrial complex acknowledging the power of the press and the media in his own unique manner.

Perhaps it is the fact that Eade is an accomplished lawyer that he presents his story to the reader thus: ‘Some people who read this book will say that it is “leftist.” Some will say it is anti-war, which it admittedly is. But this book is really just a fictional story that has been weaved around real facts, all of which are available to anyone with Internet access. It is based upon leaked documents, news stories, and consultations with persons who were actually involved in war, as I have never been. But to those who will say that it is anti-military, and there will be some, I can assure you that it is not. The military is an important institution which may be critical in protecting our homeland. However, the war in Iraq was not about protecting the homeland. It was a war based upon false pretenses and was all about profiteering. Billions were made by the elite from the trillions spent by the taxpayers. Thousands of American military men and women’s lives were lost and approximately one million Iraqis died. It was a war that was sold to the American public by the use of propaganda and the abuse of patriotism. Finally, to those who will claim that it is anti-troops, and they will, it is most definitely pro-military, and tells the hypothetical story of a soldier’s life before, during, and after the war.’

Briefly, the synopsis shines a light on the core of the book’s tale: ‘The military Industrial Complex on trial. 26-year-old Captain Ryan Bennington is in command of a company during the Iraq War and fighting a faceless enemy in the global war on terror where a split-second decision could mean the difference between killing an innocent civilian or losing an entire platoon to a suicide bomber. Ryan survives the war and comes home to conquer PTSD and chronic unemployment, only to be arrested for following the orders of his Commander to kill suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists in a small Iraqi village, who turn out, after the raid, to be civilians. Lawyer Brent Marks takes on Ryan's defense in his court-martial trial, which will reveal the deepest, darkest secrets of the military industrial complex. In their search for a scapegoat, have the powers-that-be gone too far this time?’

Another top-flight novel from the master of intrigue – one of his best. Highly recommended Grady Harp, July 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.