Eric Wentz’s new work on terrorism, Killing Sharks: De Profundis, is not a very good book.  Rather it is a great book!  It will do for our understanding of the global war on terrorism what Clancy’s books did for our understanding of the Cold War.  Both writers are artists with passionate intensity who deserve our attention. Many people have an aversion to reading History books, they are too dry. But wrap an action/adventure story around the event, now you have a great learning tool.

I first bumped into Eric Wentz when he published Piercing The Veil. It was a great read, you can find my comments here. I got wind of the imminent publication of Killing Sharks, and just had to get hold of a copy.

Even the title had my interest. By no means am I a linguist, but I did suffer 5 years in school of learning Latin. It seemed boring and pointless at the time, it wasn’t like you could go on a vacation and speak it. My Latin is a little rusty, but I looked up De Profundis. I started to chuckle. As with most languages there are different ways in which a phrase can be used. De Profundis, and I am using the Merriam Webster dictionary definition says “out of the depths”. What a great title.

No pun intended, but at that point I dived into the book!

Ok, that’s a bit of a lie. Being a reviewer I always love to have the back story, the story behind the story. Eric Wentz writes from his first hand knowledge, not his creative mind. Killing Sharks is a work of fiction, but it is based on personal experience.

If you are going to write about terrorists, the global view, and Gitmo, get your facts straight. There is little doubt in my mind that Eric Wentz is talking from a position of power rather than one of weakness.

I have not said much about the book. I did that on purpose, I hate to spoil a good read by saying too much. Eric Wentz has selected Lieutenant Commander Grant Chisholm as his main character. The book is set post 9/11. Al Qaeda (8 ways to spell this) are in disarray. Yes they scored their (hollow) victory blowing up the twin towers. But it is a hollow victory, some members are killed, some are captured. Gitmo turns from a quiet, if unfriendly spot where we, the US point our guns at the Cubans, and the Cubans point their guns at us, into a place where we can keep our terrorist friends.

Eric Wentz puts an interesting twist on this story. Is it possible that Gitmo might become the target of an operation to free these terrorists? It doesn’t take much research to figure out that Cuba really doesn’t want us. But would Cuba assist terror groups in closing down Gitmo.

I have only touched on one aspect of Killing Sharks, but even though it is fiction, it gives me pause for thought. There are many other aspects to the book. But I genuinely do not think that it is appropriate to talk about them. Readers need to read Killing Sharks and make their own decision.

Eric Wentz also has a web site that is well worth a visit.

Simon Barrett

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