"Bunn does something few Christian fiction writers do. Starting with what seems to be a narrow view, his stories open readers to a bigger multicultural and multireligious world."
-- Publishers Weekly
Strait of Hormuz
The threat of an Iranian blockade of the narrow Strait of Hormuz is escalating global tensions. Sanctions against Tehran have begun to bite, and it seeks to retaliate by cutting off vital shipping routes for crude oil. The specter of a preemptive Israeli strike has US officials on edge as they struggle to keep the world from plunging into the abyss.
Stymied in its efforts to uncover the sources of funding that bolster the Iranian nuclear program, the State Department calls on Marc Royce to investigate. With little to go on, he'll have to rely on an old ally. Kitra Korban has ties to people with the means to get things done, so long as no questions are asked.
But Iran is on the brink of nuclear capability, and time is running out.
Strait of Hormuz
released November 5, 2013
from Bethany House Publishers, and is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book editions. Click the links below to order your copy from your favorite online bookseller.
Bunn, a four-time Christy Award winner and writer in residence at Oxford University, does something few Christian fiction writers do. Starting with what seems to be a narrow view, his stories open readers to a bigger multicultural and multireligious world. Granted, some of the stereotypes he employs play into everyday prejudices about who are America’s international enemies and friends, yet he always seems to surprise and lead into places readers don’t expect.
Intelligence agent Marc Royce is back for another international rush to avert a world war as axis-of-evil nations join forces to commit genocide against Israel and the United States. The pace slows but still feels energized when characters visit an underground church: “What you see here is an impossibility. We are Kurds. We are Turks. We are Syrian and Lebanese and Ethiopians and Iraqi. We are Persians... We were enemies.”
Bunn’s strength is that he stretches the worldview of Christian readers with such stopovers in a story that also includes a love interest between a Christian and a Jew, showing how they work out their relationship and their faith.
Marc Royce, the former State Department investigator (recently fired, he’s now a freelancer), is hired to find out who’s secretly funding the Iranian nuclear program. In Geneva, trying to follow the money trail, he is unexpectedly reunited with Kitra Korban, the Israeli nurse with whom, following the events in Rare Earth (2012), he had an intense but short-lived relationship. Their reunion is strained: Marc had broken off their relationship, neither knows the other is in Geneva, and they meet again just as a bomb detonates, nearly killing them both.
The book follows Marc’s investigation into the Iranian matter, but also traces the personal story of Marc and Kitra. Astute readers will have no trouble figuring out, very early on, how their story works out, but that’s OK: sometimes the journey is interesting enough that we don’t mind knowing how it will end.
As always, Bunn works Christian themes into the story but in a subtle way. They’re there if you want to see them, but if you’d prefer to see the book strictly as an engaging action thriller with a romantic subplot, that works, too.