Bell, Ted. Warlord. Morrow. Nov 2010. c.544p. ISBN 978-0-06-185929-8. $27.99. Fiction
Lord Alexander Hawke (Tsar), in the doldrums over the death of his pregnant fiancée, springs into action when Prince Charles calls to say the British Royal Family is in mortal danger. The enemy appears to be a serial-killing government insider responsible for the assassination of Lord Mountbatten three decades earlier, Lady Diana’s death in Paris, and numerous other disasters in England. Meanwhile, his team in the States, ex-Navy SEAL Stokely Jones and CIA field agent Harry Brock, combats a rising threat posed by the Sword of Allah, a unified Taliban and al Qaeda command, which aims to gain control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. In this dire situation, can Lord Hawke lock down those missiles? Can Stokes and Brock stop U.S. prisons from becoming madrassa hothouses? Can anyone save us from a worldwide caliphate and stop those “criminal-coddling nannies up in Washington”? VERDICT Bell's sixth Alex Hawke thriller lacks political sophistication, adhering to the headlines in a way that seems preachy and uninspired. The multiple plot lines do not cohere, and the muted élan vital will disappoint some readers. Still, series fans and those who admire Glenn Beck may find the novel’s doomsday themes appealing. Readers who want a more accurate picture of Islamic terrorism should read Michael Gruber's The Good Son.