Click Here To Purchase Tribe

Author: Jim Bruno

Publisher: Bittersweet House Press

ISBN: 0983764204

From sites in the Middle East where oil wars are fought to the public venues and secret backrooms of Washington D.C. where the puppeteers pull the strings of the men and women who fight them, this thriller provides an inside view of a future plan to control the oil reserves in the former Soviet republics around the Caspian Sea. Both here and abroad, the violent action is punctuated by soft pastel glimpses into the lives of the families that suffer under the whims of the players of real politik. There is no moral high ground here, not even for the flawed hero, the C.I.A. agent Harry Brennan.

Brennan is a rarity, a superman that can fight side-by-side with Arab and Afghan freedom fighters as well as against rapacious U.S. politicos and oil interests. Black gold is the corrupting agent here, but many of the people involved are already corrupted—the oil just provides a hook to hang their corruption on. Corruption, whether by nature or through nurture, is an equal opportunity trait in this gritty story—Afghans, Arabs and Americans are prone to the disease and Afghans, Arabs and Americans can strive to develop the antibodies needed to fight it.

The glimpses into C.I.A. politics and the agency’s agenda are painted with the broad stroke of ugly realism with some splashes of ironic humor. Mr. Bruno was a diplomat with the U.S. State Department. Many times books released by former workers in the intelligence fields suffer at least some censoring. In the case of Tribe, both the C.I.A. and F.B.I. compelled the author to make numerous changes. If the reader notices that some sections seem more vague than others, that is the explanation. Even so, both organizations and individual characters do not fare well—the adage “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” morphs into “greed and power corrupt….” Some might find this depressing. Since I write dystopian sci-fi thrillers, I find it realistic and in tune with what we see in human nature—realism slaps you in the face as you read this swift-paced book. However, like my novels, the dark dystopia is mitigated by some individuals that scatter a few seeds of hope—and those previously mentioned pastel glimpses.

The book starts with Brennan directly disobeying a Chief of Station’s orders in Islamabad to not carry out a mission in Afghanistan near the Pakistani border. This mission turns into a partial fiasco, so Brennan wants to know who is responsible. There is no big culprit in the final analysis, just many little ones. Brennan uses friends and cajoles contacts to gain some understanding about what is going on. He becomes a novice apprentice in politics, learning the ropes enough to survive. On the way to enlightenment and partial victory, he learns that the bad guys can use sex as a tool. He sinks so low that the one woman who could share his love unconditionally becomes so fed up with him that she enlists and is killed in Iraq.

I’m not giving away any significant plot elements here. Your reading will move along, sometimes at a breathless pace; the plot is complex and intriguing, albeit more gritty than stylish; and the characters are well drawn. However, be forewarned. This is not a book for the squeamish, although it’s not as bloody as some. It is a work of fiction describing a power struggle to take over some of the world’s oil fields. Nevertheless, it is a frightening description of a possible future and hence a warning. I highly recommend it.

Click Here To Purchase Tribe