Author: Paul Martin Midden
ISBN:10: 1-58982-492-X
Publisher: Millennial Mind Publishing

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What if, instead of being concerned by terrorists that come from afar, Americans must fear terror from within? What if insurrection is planned by an unlikely group; evangelical Christians? These are the principal themes of the book, Toxin.

A well-organized group has decided to take over and change the government of the United States and establish the rule of a council of twelve—of their own.

Opposing them is an unlikely pair.  Jake Telemark is the junior senator from Wisconsin who has been—somewhat unwillingly—brought in by Isadore, “Dora”

Hathaway, the daughter of a deceased senator who once wielded great political power. Because of her connections she has found deep secrets in Jake’s past that make him the man to help her destroy the group that call themselves “The Bookkeepers.”  Dora contacts Jake and tells him what she’d like for him to do. Dora wants Jake to kill them.

Jake was once a sniper for a shadowy (fictitious) government entity until he burned out. After lengthy psychological therapy, he was able to reenter society. That was long ago and now, as a senator he finds he is a target of the Bookkeepers along with many others in government.  Against all his instincts, he must take up his rifle again, to prevent an internal coup in the country. The Bookkeepers prove their that achieving their goals includes mass murder.  Jake must act.

The author is a clinical psychologist who describes his work as “… character driven …” and, indeed the book, Toxic is filled with the lengthy introspection that would come to a man who had, only after extensive therapy, been able to leave behind a past that has haunted him and confront his opponents with the skills he had not quite forgotten. Once his sniper’s skills have been used again, he’ll need Dora to help him deal with the psychological trauma.

The book’s bloody action is frequently reminiscent of Greek Tragedy in which the violence is off stage.  For example, the story of how Jake decides to act and kill his first target from the Bookkeepers is much more personal introspection and is considerably more detailed than the actual scene of the assassination, which, by the time he pulls the trigger, is almost anticlimactic. Frequently, the lengthy introspection and details of the unimportant break the action and slow down the movement of the plot. 

Lovers of conspiracy plots and aficionados of tales involving mythical, lethal government agencies may still enjoy this book but will find that Toxin, in its exposition, delves into his characters’ minds and reflects much of the author’s background and presents less straightforward action than other books of the genre.

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