The Shadow War
This novel is a modern day thriller with flashbacks to 1675 and 1968. A Colonial historian, Benjamin Wainwright, is summoned by a friend to a think-tank, called the American Heritage Foundation, in Massachusetts, only to discover that his young friend has died of an unexpected heart attack prior to his arrival. Samuel Wolfe, a security analyst with the Foundation, asks for Wainwright’s aid in examining the clues left by his deceased friend to determine the actual cause of death and to check out an unusual program in his friend’s computer.
Advertised as an historical thriller that will do for American history what The Da Vinci Code did for religion, the story is filled with secret codes, forged documents and family conspiracies that evolved since the American Revolution. The main mystery to be solved by the protagonist explores the nuclear buildup between the Soviet Union and theUnited States after World War II. Was there really a Cold War, or was it a ruse perpetuated by government officials? As Wainwright attempts to discover the truth and find the killer of his friend, he becomes involved in an international conspiracy. He needs the help of certain Russian diplomats, including a young Russian woman who eventually becomes a love interest, to solve the mystery.
This novel was well written with intriguing characters. The author knows his American history, especially the early Colonial period. I still am not sure how this time period had an effect on the relations between America and the Soviet Union. Therefore, the plot became confusing at times. The reader must pay attention, as clues from conversations, paintings and documents lead Wainwright in his attempts to solve the mystery. I wouldn’t put this story in the same class as The Da Vinci Code, but if you enjoy thrillers with intrigue and international suspense, this novel may be for you.