Terror comes in many packages and for many reasons. Sometimes that terror exists in places that may not be as far away as those you read about in the news. It can often be one that is as indistinguishable as your own neighbors.
In Redemption Day Steve O’Brien brings us a dose of danger and terror spawned here in our own country. When his protagonist Nick James is fired from his terrorist analyst government job, along with a host of others, he understands it is sometimes how the system works. But something is wrong, and within a very short time he finds himself a wanted man. Somehow he has found himself in the middle of a deadly game, with little direction to turn. From his analysis on terrorism he has been watching a militant group known as the Posse Comitatus. They are a group of militia that have their own beliefs in the wording of the constitution, and feel the government has bastardized the ideology.
When a Supreme Court Justice is kidnapped, Nick is the one man who understands. Can he find a way to bring the militants to light and save the Justice, thereby saving himself as well? Following where the evidence leads him, he is tracked by the FBI at every turn. Can he hope to bring the dire situation to light and clear his name? The militants will stop at nothing to win their battle; they are strong and growing, with a feeling of power now that they have their pawn. Can Nick convince someone that the terror is in their own back yards, and that he is not involved in the deaths that seem to follow his moves? Who can he turn to with such dire information, and will they be in time to stop the Comitatus?
O’Brien has delivered a tense and compelling novel about terror here on our own shores. Since the occurrence of the Oklahoma City bombing, we know there are factions, and we have seen the aftermath. O’Brien takes a deep look into the kind of thought process that brings many to this place and lays it out in such a way you can understand the thinking, even though not necessarily the methods. His characters are very perceptive and strong.
While the story creates tension, his characters convey a sense of rightness, and strength to overcome the obstacles while protecting the masses. As each bit of evidence comes to light he weaves an intricate story of beliefs and a superseding sense of how such strong belief overrides what would generally be considered right or wrong. The tension remains thick but there is such a thread of hope with his protagonist that you just feel that somehow he will prevail.
The Posse Comitatus is a group that has its own interpretation of the constitution and finally feels they have what they need to move forward. O’Brien brings us an in-depth study of what and who they are, and how they come to be. The tone of the book conveys the danger of some of the fanatics and the capability of further homeland terror happening. He has taken a group from our own foundations and given it a face, one we may see in any area of the country.
Redemption Day would be a great book for a book club or reading group. If you enjoy reading suspense and terror, or just enjoy a good mystery this is the right book for you. O’Brien has written a literary work that puts the ball in our court, to make of it what we will.