by Paul Batista
- File Size: 422 KB
- Print Length: 380 pages
- Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions (October 1, 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009K71N3M
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
When Ali Hussein, suspected terrorist and alleged banker for Al Qaeda, is finally transported from Guantanamo Bay to the US mainland to stand trial, many are stunned when Byron Carlos Johnson, a pre-eminent lawyer and son of a high-profile diplomat, volunteers to represent him. On principle, Johnson thought he was merely defending a man unjustly captured through Rendition and water-boarded illegally. But Johnson soon learns that there is much more at stake than one man’s civil rights.Hussein’s intimate knowledge of key financial transactions could lead to the capture of—or the unabated funding of—the world’s most dangerous terror cells. This makes Hussein the target of corrupt US intelligence forces on one side, and ruthless international terrorists on the other. And, it puts Byron Carlos Johnson squarely in the crosshairs of both. Pulled irresistibly by forces he can and cannot see, Johnson enters a lethal maze of espionage, manipulation, legal traps and murder. But when his life, his love, and his acclaimed principles are on the line, Johnson may have one gambit left that can save them all; a play that even his confidants could not have anticipated. He must become the hunter among hunters in the deadliest game.Written by no-holds-barred-attorney Paul Batista, Extraordinary Rendition excels not only as an action thriller, but as a sophisticated legal procedural as well. Batista’s keen legal mind and feel for suspense bleed onto every the page. Smart. Fast. Heart-pounding. A legal thriller of the highest order.
Byron Johnson is a sharp corporate attorney in a well respected firm. He is not ambitious for money as he is more interested in doing the right thing and representing his clients to the best of his ability. He seems to be winding down a bit in the firm and he decides to take on the representation of an alleged banker for Al Quada. Byron knows nothing of the detainee, Ali Hussien, nor of the supposed ‘brother’ who brought the case to him.
Ali has been kept in seclusion for nine years without books, visits or even charges having been brought against him. The only human contact he has had are the guards who are there 24/7 and the man who repeatedly has tortured him trying to get him to reveal the whereabouts of the hidden money. The process of interrogation falls under the term “extraordinary rendition.” (See links below for full definition.)
When Ali was first snatched off the streets of Germany the intimidating, arrogant and intrepid agent, who he named Jessie Ventura, bullied him and subjected him to water-boarding. Ali, who continually claims his innocence, is glad to have human contact when Byron introduces himself for the short 10 minute visit they are allotted. Ali is slow to trust but over time Byron is allowed to bring in a Koran and Ali gives passages for Byron to share with Ali’s brother.
The government agents believe that the passages are an intricate code of information leading to hidden bank accounts. Soon it becomes clear that the corrupt agents involved will do anything in order to get the information. Byron knows he can’t trust the prosecuting attorney who refuses to provide any discovery. The case is put under extreme confidentiality restrictions and Byron is unsure what courage the Judge will bring to the proceeding. The lines cross as Byron comes under attack and it becomes apparent that the government is not necessarily the “good guy” doing the right thing.
At mid point I was feeling sympathy for Byron but that was soon overshadowed by my incredulity at his naivete. I was relieved when Byron finally started to recognize the treachery and betrayal around him. The story is one of those that is ‘scary’ as it could well be real, similar to “The Net” or “Enemy of the State.” It makes one contemplate - When dealing with suspected terrorists, does the end justify the means?
Although Batista deals with legal processes, the writing is crisp, direct and easy to follow. There were a couple of sections of calm detachment and I wondered why they were included. But I do think they made Byron’s life more realistic as we can each use times of hiatus in our lives to help cope with the intensity and traumas we face. This is a story that kept me reading as I worried for Byron and rooted for him. If you like legal thrillers you won’t want to miss this one!
Words I noted while reading:
Intense, intrigue, uneasy, courage or stupidity, scary.
Extraordinary Rendition description links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition
I received this from Blue Dot Literary for an honest review.This is set primarily in New York for my Where are You Reading Challenge. I will also add it to my ARC and New Author challenge lists.
–Nancy Grace, Attorney, TV Personality and NY Times Bestselling Author of Death on the D-List
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Batista, novelist and television personality, is one of the most widely known trial lawyers in the country. As a trial attorney, he specializes in federal criminal litigation. As a media figure, he is known for his regular appearances as guest legal commentator on a variety of television shows including, Court TV, CNN, HLN and WNBC. He’s also appeared in the HBO movie, You Don't Know Jack, starring Al Pacino.
A prolific writer, Batista authored the leading treatise on the primary federal anti-racketeering statute, Civil RICO Practice Manual, which is now in its third edition (Wiley & Sons, 1987; Wolters Kluwer, 2008). He has written articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The National Law Journal.
Batista's debut novel, Death's Witness, was awarded a Silver Medal by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). And his new novel, Extraordinary Rendition, is now being published—along with a special reissue of Death’s Witness—by Astor + Blue Editions.
Batista is a graduate of Bowdoin College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Cornell Law School. He’s proud to have served in the United States Army. Paul Batista lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.