The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the far right sidebar.
Andrew Kaplan’s latest book, Homeland: Carrie’s Run is based on the hit TV series. After reading these books it becomes obvious
that he should be writing the scripts.
This book is much more realistic and has the feel for a thriller while
keeping intact the essence of the characters. While the series begins in 2011
this story takes place in Lebanon during 2006.
He told blackfive.net that this book came about when Harper
Collins and the studio decided to have a joint project to tie a book in with
the television series. Kaplan became the
obvious choice since he has written a similar series whose main character is an
independent operative, Scorpion, and he worked in AMAN, Israel’s military
intelligence. After gaining complete
control over the storylines he agreed to the assignment.
In all of his books, the Homeland and Scorpion series have
very believable characters, plots, and tactics.
Carrie’s Run begins when she
attempts to hold a clandestine meeting with a new contact, code-named
Nightingale. Suspicious that security
has been compromised she barely escapes an ambush. Because of a confrontation with the station
chief she is sent back to Langley. To
prevent a terrorist plot she acts insubordinately to uncover it and the
connection between Nightingale and the leader of Iraqi Al Qaeda leader, Abu
Nazir. The sub-plot is very interesting
in that Kaplan reveals the compelling untold backstories of the main character.
The book tells Carrie’s story of growing up in Maryland and
shows how she became a solitary figure.
Kaplan portrayed her as a long distance runner during Carrie’s college
years. “I decided to make that a
metaphor since she has a ‘long distance run’ to find the terrorist plot in
addition to her actual run for her life when she has to escape the terrorists
Both series discuss the culture of the Middle East. In the Homeland book he makes it very clear how
women are subservient figures with the quotes, “Many men in the Middle East
believed Western women were all sluts anyway,” and a recruited asset’s “husband,
Abbas, abused her nonstop because she had painful endometriosis that prevented
her from having children… and had once beaten her so badly with a tire
Kaplan stated to blackfive.net, “I want to show how there is
so much deception going on and there is a need for our intelligence community
to find the truth. I also want to show
in all my books how that area of the world is very complicated. For example in Scorpion Deception I show how the Iranians have factions within
factions who are fighting for power. I
will also show this in my next Homeland book when I have Carrie travel to Syria
for clues. Basically, there are two
worlds. On the outside, the one the
world sees, there are the Mullahs, women in chadors, and men shaking fists
against America. Then there is
behind-the-curtain where everyone drinks Johnnie Walker and women take off
their rusaris and they watch American television.”
Carrie’s Run is a very suspenseful political thriller that can be
enjoyed by readers, even if they do not watch the “Homeland” TV series. Unlike this season this novel’s plot is very
realistic and riveting. The setting of
the Middle East, the tactics of the CIA operatives, and the examples of the
Islamic atrocities are very believable. Maybe in addition to writing gripping
thrillers he can write for the television series because they surely need good
ideas for plots.