Author: Ed Griffin
ISBN: 9781425114398
Publisher: Trafford Publishing

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Within this book, Griffin takes a subject he has some definite ideas about. This is political thriller at its best. The subject is the UN and the first female Secretary-General has been elected with the backing of the US. The story begins as she starts taking initiative by becoming a true world leader.

Griffin’s purpose with the book is obvious; he wants the UN to be a true world government rather than just a debating organization. Pilar Marti, the first female Secretary-General, finds herself in the middle of international politics from her first day in office. Representatives are asking for help and support. Sometimes the help is from need, but other times it is from political ambition and favors being called in. Marti and the UN are effectively blackmailed into doing things that the member governments want. The most powerful player is the US, of course.

The plot twists around the active intervention of the US to coerce Marti, and thus the UN, into condoning and actually supporting US foreign policy. The hotbed of Somalia is the centerpiece. The story line keeps coming back to Somalia frequently. This works very well and is a good catalyst for the tensions within the plot.

After several attempts to stop Marti from making a real difference, she finally determines that she has to take on the project of converting the UN to a true government for the world. Then the efforts of those opposing her become more dangerous and lethal, even threatening those around her.

The characters are very well-developed and filled with a balance of reality and idealism that is seen in real people everyday. There are daily living problems, her mother’s estate is not settled, her biological time clock is ticking, getting enough rest, etc. that affect the major issues Marti is trying to contend with. There are some stunning portrayals through the interactions of the characters, particularly the dynamic between Marti and her bodyguard, Alex. Alex is an ex-police officer dedicated to keeping Marti safe as long as she is Security-General. Thomas Brennan is the US ambassador to the UN, and the antagonist to Marti’s heroine. He embodies all that is anti-UN in the US government and fills that role well. Stuart Taylor is a political advisor and Marti’s former lover. His role switches from time-to-time through the book, adding to the interpersonal tensions. Quan is the assistant Secretary-General and definitely not happy with his second place position. Anatole Zoungrana, is the President of Burkina Faso and a very strong advocate for Africa and the countries of that continent. As the plot develops and the characters interact, keeping the reader involved and interested in the story and its outcome.

Politically, this book advocates the premise that the world is much smaller now then it was in 1945 when the UN was formed. While there were several ideals that made the UN a strong organization with a good, clear purpose, at the time of its founding, Griffin contends that all that has changed so much that the UN needs to be restructured. That restructuring is the principle plot device and it is used well and believably throughout.

This is a book to be read by any one with an interest in political drama, as well as those that are interested in the UN and its potential.

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