Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Review: Can Money Stolen by Terrorists Be Found? Check out The Chameleon Conspiracy!

The Chameleon Conspiracy
By Haggai Carmon
Leisure Books
ISBN: 9780843961911
369 Pages


“...World War III has already begun. It’s the terrorists against the rest of the world.” (p.117)

Haggai Carmon’s The Chameleon Conspiracy is the real thing! By that, I mean that you can readily tell that Carmon has the background knowledge and experience to write this tale of intrigue. Sharing both the slow gathering of information as well as the many false leads lends added realism to a story in which many of us could star—as a victim!

For you see, young men who have left the United States, for vacation or business, have their identities stolen. They are killed and someone takes their place to come back into the States! Is it one man, or many?

At the same time, there are a number of major financial scams across America and the Department of Justice has been brought in to try to follow and recover the money.

Dan Gordon, an attorney was trained by the Mossad, with the Justice Department, and is working with the CIA, FBI, and the Mossad as he travels the world looking for who he believes is one man, who has taken the various identities and handled the various thefts. Gordon dubbed him The Chameleon...

Following the trail of money is not easy, especially when an American is helping the foreign groups! Gordon doesn’t find it strange to discover that a bank officer of one of the small banks that had lost millions now has his own New York City business. Name changes, aliases, identity thefts are all part of this investigation.

It was not surprising that tracking the money resulted in discovering it was being provided and used by terrorist groups. What is interesting though was that those involved had been trained so well at an American university that their language skills were perfect and the knowledge they gained provided sufficient expertise to be able to infiltrate and work in America. Going undercover, Gordon takes on the role of a writer, wanting to find his roots, and hires a graduate of the university to assist him. One method of gaining information was to host a reunion of graduates, since the school had been closed many years ago. But Gordon’s cover is blown and leads to major problems since a high-level intelligence agent wanted to defect and met with Gordon to determine if he could help him escape.

And then it was discovered that terrorist members were running counterfeiting activities!

All in all this was a good solid read, rather slow-paced, but with many twists and turns as new events and discoveries are made, that keeps high reader interest and involvement. I think I most was impressed by the coordinating efforts of the various groups involved—a nice change since many writers choose to highlight territorial issues among security agencies, which are intended to cause more intensity. Gordon’s being able to meet and have an old friend from the Mossad help him was just one of the relationships between characters that made the book not only more believable but more interesting, intriguing, and a nice change of pace.

This is a different side of the “terrorist” issue—the money issue that is oftentimes much more explosive and realistic than bombing and intensive action books. I highly recommend The Chameleon Conspiracy by Haggai Carmon for those interested in today’s alternative fiction novels!


G. A. Bixler