On this page, I’ll post all reviews of Efraim’s Eye:
“Efraim’s Eye” by William Peace is a thriller in which a very capable and determined terrorist is pitted against a very capable and determined financial consultant. Doesn’t really sound fair, does it? Until, of course, you think of the last banker you worked with and who won.
Early in the book Peace gives us an example of Western duplicity when the consultant, Paul Winthorpe, is duped by a charming and sophisticated woman for–of all things–money. Nor is being a terrorist a piece of cake. Efraim Al-Rashid is betrayed by both Taliban and Russian arms dealers as he puts his plot into action. There is a major difference in the two agendas, however, that goes beyond greed. The terrorist has suffered great personal loss; as a result, revenge is the dominating tenet in his interpretation of the Muslim faith. “An eye for an eye” and, in this case, the EYE of London.
Winthorpe’s goals are the more prosaic ideals of helping companies run effectively. He takes on a pro-bono assignment to examine the management of a Moroccan affiliate of an international charity based in London. Assisted by a young, Arabic-speaking, Israeli woman, he soon realizes that the entire situation requires either abandonment or complete overhauling. Of course, outside consultants often irritate existing company structures, especially if the CEO–as in this case–is embezzling most of the funds for terrorist activities.
Peace really seems to know Marrakech, Tbilisi, and yes, account books like the back of his hand. There are lots of little throwaway sentences that bring the book to life and infuse it with authenticity. It is unfortunate, therefore, that in what is probably an attempt to give more literary depth to his novel, he interjects a May/December romance and numerous discursions into Christian, Jewish, and Muslim beliefs and practices. It is not that these digressions are exactly boring, but they might have found more resonance in another setting.
It should also be mentioned that the book is–fittingly–very well edited, with hardly a typo. Bookreview.com considers it an excellent thriller, but suggests that you read it after you’ve had a ride on the EYE.
This in not your ordinary page turner replete with endless chase scenes and terrifying moments piled up on top of each other. What makes you want to keep reading this book is the skillful characterization of ALL the protagonists. Efraim himself is a multi-faceted bad guy. I even found myself almost liking the poor guy when he was agonized by the problem of clean vs. unclean women and the enormous drive provided from his groin area.
I cannot think of a single character, down to the loyal driver, Mohammed, who is not dealt with in depth. The women who work in the Moroccan charity are both very much alive and sympathetic. The part-time, and very young assistant bookkeeper is superbly drawn and he’s only on scene for a few pages. Paul’s (the hero’s) family are a nice mix of fun and intelligence.
The mechanics of making a very complicated terrorist bomb (or rather, six of them) are sketched with what seems to be the product of deep and keen research–at least I am hoping this is not first hand knowledge.
I don’t want to get too much into this lovely read because I would encourage to get the book yourself. I read mine in the Kindle version and was amazed at the few typos–though there are a handful, and they do not disrupt the narrative.
While doing pro-bono work for a London charity checking on one of its subsidiaries, Paul Winthrop along with Naomi, a consultant with the charity, discover a terrorist plot to destroy the London Eye. Each one of the characters is developed in depth and with a complexity that makes them believable. No cardboard cutouts here. We follow two storylines as the book develops. One is with the developing relationship between Paul, a widower but in a relationship back in London, and Naomi, a well traveled, intelligent and younger Israeli. The other deals with the organization of the plot from obtaining the necessary weapons and equipment to choosing the personnel to be involved.
As we follow the terrorist Yusef as he travels to several countries to complete the plans, one cannot help but be impressed with Mr. Peace’s attention to detail. Whether describing weapons or the intricacies of an audit or the geography of a city, his information is so well researched and written that one is reminded of Tom Clancy in his early books.
Mr. Peace appears to have an interest in religion and in the spiritual aspects that guide and motivate individuals. This was a thread in his previous book as he explored facets of Christianity. In this book, Mr. Peace is able to explore the beliefs of Islam and the teachings of the Koran. He is never judgmental and gives his reader much to ponder.
I look forward to the next book by this talented writer.
“Efraim’s Eye” by William Peace is about two Iraqi half-brothers, Yusuf and Efraim, who are set to destroy the London Eye, an 800- passenger Ferris wheel, as a personal vendetta against the British. They plan to accomplish this by utilizing funds from the Morocco Chapter of the Global Youth Enterprise, GYE, a charity founded by the Duke of Suffolk which provides low cost loans to young entrepreneurs who have a great business idea but lack the financial requirements.
The story begins when Paul becomes a member of the charity in London and realizes that there are problems every time they send someone to Morocco to conduct an audit. At the same time, we learn that Yusuf is the CEO of the charity in Morocco as Efraim begins to plan the London Eye strike. As a financial consultant, Paul is sent to Morocco to investigate along with Naomi, a multilingual Israeli, who is the Director of Operations for GYE. Upon the discovery of accounting irregularities with the management of the money, the chase for proof of corruption begins.
Peace did an excellent job alternating between Efraim’s whereabouts and actions and Paul and Naomi’s investigation and romance. He was able to portray them simultaneously while developing and maintaining a flow that was easy to follow. His characters were real and interesting to the point that the suspense was built in his character development with action following towards the end. My favorite part was Paul and Naomi’s relationship and interaction, as he paired a conservative and well set in his ways 60-year-old man with a free spirited younger woman. Their fun interaction woven in the midst of the suspense made this a fun read.
Definitely a page turner, I found “Efraim’ Eye” by William Peace very difficult to put down. I recommend this book to all who love International, terrorism thrillers. “Efraim’s Eye” is a fascinating, and entertaining thriller!
Reader’s Views (Shortlisted for the prize in general fiction)