Summary and book reviews of The Convert's Song by Sebastian Rotella

The Convert's Song

by Sebastian Rotella

The Convert's Song by Sebastian Rotella X
The Convert's Song by Sebastian Rotella
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2014, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2014, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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About this Book

Book Summary

A global manhunt sweeps up a former federal agent when his childhood friend becomes the chief suspect in a terrorist rampage.

His hazardous stint in U.S. law enforcement behind him, Valentine Pescatore has started over as a private investigator in Buenos Aires. Then he runs into a long-lost friend: Raymond Mercer, a charismatic, troubled singer who has converted to Islam. After a terrorist attack kills hundreds, suspicion falls on Raymond - and Pescatore.

Angry and bewildered, Pescatore joins forces with Fatima Belhaj, an alluring French agent. They pursue the enigmatic Raymond into a global labyrinth of intrigue. Is he a terrorist, a gangster, a spy? Is his loyalty to Pescatore genuine, or just another lethal scam?

From the jungles of South America to the streets of Paris to the battlegrounds of Baghdad, The Convert's Song leads Pescatore on a race to stop a high-stakes campaign of terror.



Chapter One: Cafetín de Buenos Aires

The whole mess started ten years later on a sunny fall day when Valentine Pescatore was feeling at home in Buenos Aires.

He got up and put on a warm-up suit. He took a quick cab ride on Libertador Avenue to the sports club in Palermo Park. At eight a.m., he had the red rubber track to himself. His breath steamed in the morning chill; May was November in Argentina. He was not as fast or strong as he had been while serving as a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Yet he was healthier than during those crazy days at the Line. He had lost the weight he'd acquired eating home-cooked Cuban meals while living in San Diego with Isabel Puente. Arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, fried plantains. Washed down with drama and heartbreak.

Leaving the club, he caught a whiff of horse smell on the river wind. A nearby compound of the Argentine federal police housed the stables of the mounted division. Facundo had told him the compound was also the headquarters of ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Sebastian Rotella has succeeded in blending a rip-roaring international terrorism thriller with a thoughtful examination of the nature of friendship. I’m sorry to admit I haven't read Rotella’s first novel about Valentin Pescatore (Triple Crossing) because I would like to get to know this character better. Raymond Mercer is utterly so much more fascinating than the good guy. But then I always have had a soft spot for bad boys.   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Full Review (635 words).

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

For all its darkness and danger, the book boasts a streak of hard-boiled humor that puts it in the company of some top espionage novels. It's also an enjoyably musical book, with references ranging from Louis Prima to Astor Piazzolla to Bruce Springsteen, Rotella serves up international intrigue with a delectable twist.

The Los Angeles Times

[Rotella's] prose is vivid and precise, his sense of setting sharply illuminating. . . . He's also a thoughtful writer, treating the loaded topic of Islamic terrorism with commendable subtlety. . . . A skillfully layered thriller

Booklist

Rotella's second Valentine novel (Triple Crossing, 2011) is a propulsive thriller filled with action, vividly drawn characters, delightful insights into locales, and persuasive speculations about the stunningly complex web of alliances and enmities that aid and/or degrade the efforts of the world's terrorists and drug traffickers.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. [Rotella] ratchets up the action with an absorbing look at international politics.

Author Blurb Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street
A revelation. Sure, it's a smart, gripping thriller that will have you turning the pages at high speed. But it's also a deep, emotionally resonant story of identity, friendship, and faith. Rotella's characters leap off the page in three dimensions and his plot is as imaginative as it is believable.

Author Blurb Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove
The Convert's Song hooked me from its opening scene and kept me hooked to the very end. Sebastian Rotella has written a novel filled with suspense and intrigue, as well as real-world insights into those who commit terrorist acts and those who try to stop them.

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Beyond the Book

Key to a Long, Healthy Life: Friendship

It turns out that the secret to enjoying a strong immune system, all but impervious to such annoyances as the common cold, inflammation and even heart disease, is 100% natural, organic, chemical-free, with no nasty side effects and – best of all – it's free. According to a New York Times article, numerous studies have repeatedly proven that having/being a friend not only prolongs life but effectively makes those extra years not just happier, but also healthier - by as much as 22% or more. It is a vastly more effective at sustaining good health than quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and even regular exercise.

Friendship braceletsWhat's more, friendships outrank all other types of relationships in their health-giving properties. ...

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