Sometimes Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Davis Bunn keeps his hand on the throttle throughout our ride into Strait of Hormuz, his latest novel. You can read Chapters 1-3 for Free at this link –  

Strait of Hormuz

Marc Royce, an intelligence operative from Bunn’s earlier Kenya story, Rare Earth, is in Geneva, Switzerland for the first time ever. Royce is without backup, without a job (he’s just been fired), and without a gun (Swiss security), yet he’s about to enter an art gallery by “request” of the U.S. government to copy files which hold information of vital national importance.

His arrival is anticipated. The gallery has just been broken into and a bloodstained body on the floor draws him to the precise location to trigger a bomb. A suspected leak in U.S. intelligence dictated that Swiss intelligence not be informed of Marc’s mission. Coincidentally, Kitra Korban, a lovely distraction from Marc’s exploits in Kenya, arrives at the gallery at that moment with the express purpose of saving his hide.

That all happens within the first eight pages. After the explosion (remember the device in the gallery), the Swiss police and intelligence community are very much aware of Marc Royce’s presence in their country. At the main police station, he’s interrogated and accused of breaking and entering, of killing the man in the gallery (a suspected conduit for funding terrorism), plus other conspiracies.

Davis Bunn then crafts a complex four-point debate between those in the Geneva police station and powerful figures in Washington. That neatly sets up the bigger story—Iran’s suspected use of North Korea as a test site for their nuclear ambitions, the looming danger of closure of the Strait of Hormuz and a regional war if a missile shipment from North Korea is not interdicted. That mission falls to Marc Royce, with Kitra alongside, realizing he cannot express his love to her without sacrificing his calling—providing ongoing intelligence needed to protect his country.

English: Map of Strait of Hormuz Español: Mapa...

English: Map of Strait of Hormuz Español: Mapa del estrecho de Ormuz Русский: Карта Ормузского пролива (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The reader feels enlightened, if not educated, with plausible scenarios involving recent and current political situations. Bunn indicts Switzerland’s willingness to help tax dodgers and criminals hide their assets; he notes that the country thrives on selling secrets, facilitated by a legal system that prevents outsiders from gaining privileged information. A wealthy Iranian woman and art dealer delights at her father’s comment that danger is the most intense of all spices. Then she’s confronted by a fellow countryman who personifies evil, menace, and terror.

Only two missteps among Bunn’s abundance of detailed narrative: there’s but a mere ten lines of dialogue between Marc’s order of an omelet and its delivery. We also hear the redoubtable Carter Dawes speak of a Special Forces platoon as backup. He should have known that Special Forces is organized as a special operations force—teams, groups—but never into platoons, which are a conventional unit.

This book lacks the empathy of some of Bunn’s recent works; e.g., Unlimited, which has protecting orphans as the main thrust. In Strait of Hormuz, we have a more complex plot, with international intrigues, bombs, shootings, and diabolically evil people. Thankfully, we worship with the underground church which gathers saints from a mélange of cultures. Their clandestine meetings–where a careless word can compromise hundreds, if not thousands–draw the faithful like oases of peace and affirmation of the risen Christ.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of Strait of Hormuz from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

You can read Chapters 1-3 for Free at this link –  



About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in Changing the Rules, Feared Classes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sometimes Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

  1. Nadia Fabian says:

    Here is the truth ….. Why is Obama trying to start a race war again for the third time?
    First, it was Professor Gates who gained unintended consequences from his action. Christopher Monfort, in a politically driven, violent campaign against the Seattle police officers, responded to what seemed like Obama’s call for race war by killing Officer Timothy Brenton and wounding Officer Britt Sweeney. It was followed by Maurice Clemmons who killed four police officers at a coffee shop in execution style. Then another officer responded to a 911 call and he was shot at upon arrival. Then the cop killing fizzled out.
    Next came Trayvon Martin. Obama said that Trayvon was his soulmate and if he had a son, he would be like Trayvon. But Obama’s world collapse when it was revealed Trayvon had traces of marijuana which was enough to make him the aggressor. This was consistent with George Zimmerman’s testimony. And Trayvon’s school record of suspensions didn’t help Obama either.
    And now Michael Brown. Obama was careful to make the same mistake as in the past two incidents but his Attorney General visited the family of Brown and later vowed to put the full resources of the Department of Justice to bringing justice for the Brown family. This was also the promise of Governor Jay Nixon, a democrat. But where is the justice for the police officer? Are Holder and Nixon jumping the gun? Again, the Brown killing will end up just like Trayvon. Why? Because Brown was a thug and a bully while the police officer has exemplary record just like Zimmerman.
    The whites cannot do anything but just watch from a distance until the blacks stop being victims. Only the blacks can solve their problem. It is within.
    All race war will be like these because like begets like. Yes, like begets like and racism begets racism. Truth is stranger than fiction.

  2. Pingback: Is Fiction Stranger Than Truth? « Davis Bunn

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