Ulterior Motives

Ulterior Motives

4.2 5
by Mark Andrew Olsen

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When an al-Qaeda email is intercepted, threatening an attack on America, it leads to the capture of the group's leader. Yet even under fierce interrogation, the terrorist clings to his jihadist beliefs and refuses to divulge any information. Desperate, the Army resorts to extreme measures—a controversial protocol designed to break a subject's resistance. But

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When an al-Qaeda email is intercepted, threatening an attack on America, it leads to the capture of the group's leader. Yet even under fierce interrogation, the terrorist clings to his jihadist beliefs and refuses to divulge any information. Desperate, the Army resorts to extreme measures—a controversial protocol designed to break a subject's resistance. But the attempt must be masked as an offer of clemency and rely on an outside party, someone who is unaware of the protocol's aims.

They find that someone in Greg Cahill, a disgraced soldier who now serves in a prison ministry. Lured by the chance to restore his reputation, Greg befriends a man the entire country despises. And the result proves combustible, the two men having to flee for their lives. With both in need of redemption, they set out to prevent a major catastrophe...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Best known for his novel Hadassah (which was made into the film One Night with the King), Olsen packs everything Christian thriller fans enjoy in his newest. Greg Cahill is an ousted FBI agent called back for a dangerous mission for the U.S. government: thwarting a terrorist plot. Christian readers will find the interplay of faith and counter-terrorism interesting as Cahill shares his faith with a radical Muslim terrorist. But dialogue is clunky ("...since you people are so stinking familiar with all of my past pronouncements, then draw up an interrogation plan that's as aggressive as possible..."), and the author stumbles over finding believable ways to depict real characters while still writing for Christian readers. A month-long countdown to a terrorist attack builds suspense, but action is often summarized in a few sentences rather than used to build scenes. The climax includes a shocking decision of faith and sacrifice, but it comes five pages before an abrupt ending that doesn't exercise the heart muscle as much as thriller fans expect.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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Ulterior Motives 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series written by Mark Andrew Olsen. Moving stories, well written, and compelling stories of changed lives through the power of God. I missed Abby and Dylan in this book, but found Greg's story moving as well. This is the kind of series that's perfect as an open door for unchurched friends, new Christ followers, and mature Christians alike. I found these books clean enough that I will recommend my 13yo read them as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
I live in Sierra Vista and know people who work in psy-ops and intel on Ft. Huachuca so I'm a bit biased here. All of the details regarding the setting rang true for me. He had the facts down perfectly except for in one place. The one time it did snow here in the past six years it was more like one to two inches, tops. But that's forgiveable because my guess is he needed it for the plot. After all, it is fiction. I love the psychology behind these types of stories, probably because that's the subject I majored in when I got my Bachelor's degree. Anyway, I found the story fascinating, especially the techniques used by the military to deal with highly classified situations. It reminded me of the Bourne Identity that way. Were the good guys always good guys? Or was it just until they got what they wanted and then they turned on you... I loved the implied messages, too. The media messes up things sometimes when they give out information prematurely and sometimes because of the security breach, people die. So true. Then they blame the military, who, of course, must pick a fall guy, at least that's how it's presented here. I found it very believable. For me the best part of this story was the spiritual content. It's so true that people know when we are sincere and when we are not. People who don't know Christ are in search of the very thing we claim to have, but don't always show in our behavior. And, of course, God can use anyone and anything to change us for the better. Bottom line...you have to forgive yourself for others to see the forgiveness Christ has given you. Very well done! The only weakness I saw in this book was the six year old's thinking and speech. A few times he sounded more like a ten year hold than a six year old. But that wasn't significant enough to taint the story for me. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who wants to be inspired by a story with a deep faith element. I love stories that make me think and make me want to share my faith more with people who seem "unreachable."
ChristyLockstein More than 1 year ago
Ulterior Motives by Mark Andrew Olsen is an intriguing and timely look at how the US handles terrorists. Greg Cahill is trying to reclaim his life from the disaster it became after an accidental shooting brought his career with the FBI to an end. He's lost his son and his wife, but found Jesus and uses his faith to bring those in jail to salvation. Omar Nirubi is on America's Most Wanted list as the successor to Osama bin Laden. When the US captures Nirubi and finds information about an impending terrorist attack, they need information out of him, but when regular torture techniques fail, something wildly different, unorthodox even, needs to be used to get the details about the plot before millions of Americans are killed. Greg and Omar are brought together, and their collaboration will determine the fate of the nation. Olsen's suspenseful novel took about 50 pages to really get moving. Initially the dialogue is a bit stilted and the action clunks, but once Nirubi is captured, the story quickly takes off and becomes a compelling read. Just recently waterboarding and black sites have been all over the news, and Olsen handles the issues fairly with an even hand. The ending was a bit too pat; the behind the scenes maneuvering that makes so many of these books fascinating is missing at the climax, leaving the reader feel a bit left out of the action.
harstan More than 1 year ago
He is an American blond haired blue eyes scientist working at Cal Tech; but at his heart he is a fervent Muslim fundamentalist who believes violence is the only answer the United States understands. He invented a potent toxic nerve gas that could wipe out husbands perhaps millions with a small dose. He calls himself Azzam the Younger named for Al-Qaeda¿s patron saint. The successor to Bin Laden is Omar Niburi, who is in Pakistan when he is captured and taken by Americans.

They hope to torture the truth out of him as to where and when the gas will be released, but Niburi resists the efforts relying on his religious beliefs to comfort him. When the agents realize he is not going to break, they bring in civilian Greg Cahill, forced out of the FBI for killing a child. He became an evangelist minister preaching at prisons. The Feds hope he can reach Niraub¿s soul and convert him to Christianity. If they succeed they believe he will tell them all. Greg detests the politics but wants to save this man¿s soul; miraculously they connect. However a betrayal leads to the pair fleeing while trying to prevent the nerve gas tragedy from occurring.

Greg Cahill has done many ugly things in his life, but his conversion seems real and people like Niburi sense that he is a true believer now. He feels blessed to hear the voice of God and to witness angels taking a killer to heaven while protecting him and Niburi. This is also a psychological thriller where the protagonist, unaware who to trus,t turns to the one he can always trust Jesus, enabling him to forgive his transgressions. Mark Andrew Olson provides a deep inspirational supernatural thriller filled with messages without preaching.

Harriet Klausner