Book Review - The Unsanctioned by Michael Lamke
Is it possible that the government has programs and resources committed to tracking down anonymous bloggers and personalities on the 'net that espouse anti-American sentiments? That scenario forms the premise of a novel I finished this week... The Unsanctioned by Michael Lamke. This is Lamke's first novel, and it's a good effort. He presents some tough questions on where the line should be drawn when it comes to free speech, anonymity, and safeguarding the public. In his novel, as in real life, there are no easy answers.
Lane Evans is attached to the embassy in Thailand as an aide to the Ambassador. He's asked to track down an anonymous Thai blogger who is instigating public unrest against the US military, currently in the country to offer humanitarian relief after a natural disaster. He quickly tracks down the blogger's identity, and feels that he did what was necessary to prevent deaths of American citizens. But this success takes him deeper down the rabbit hole when he's hooked into a darker tracking program that crosses the line from tracking to elimination. This unsanctioned black-ops program goes against everything he believes to be right, but exposing the operation puts both him and his girlfriend back in Thailand at risk of being another victim. Deciding where to turn and where to draw the line will determine who lives and who dies...
Overall, The Unsanctioned was a page-turner. The concept of a black-ops tracking program isn't a stretch, and the method used to track people is a nice technology feature that makes the plot work. I personally didn't think the ending held up when measured against the character motivations leading up to the finish. But considering it's a first novel, my net opinion is positive. If and when Lamke writes another installment, I wouldn't hesitate to read it.
Obtained From: Author