War can make a monster out of people. In times of war, one needs to be able to differentiate enemies from allies. This is the premise on whichThe Bomb Squad by Neil Perry Gordon is written.
Set during the peak of World War I, the story revolved around Detective Max Rothman and his bomb squad. On the 30th of July 1916, someone blew up America's ammunition depot on Black Tom Island. Afterward, other bombing incidents happened within the American territory. Detective Max, a German-American, was saddled with the responsibility of raising a team to investigate the bombings and apprehend the culprits. Meanwhile, the British government was suspicious of the Germans. The Brits suspected that the Germans wanted to keep America busy to ensure America stayed away from the war. With both the American government and the British government interested in solving the spates of bombings, Max had an arduous task on his shoulders. Will he look beyond his German origin to help America and its allies fish out those responsible for the bombings?
The plot of this book may not be unique, but the author put a twist on it to make it worth every minute I spent reading it. The narrative was engaging and suspenseful. I was captivated by the author's presentation that I found the book difficult to put down. The few times I took a break from reading, I couldn't wait to go back and continue from where I stopped. The twists and turns, elements of surprise, and the betrayal sub-themes contributed to making this book a joy to read.
The brevity of the chapters was what I liked most about this book. When I saw the table of contents, I was alarmed to see that the book had 92 chapters. It felt overwhelming at first as I tried to make sense of why the book had that many chapters. However, when I started reading this book, I noticed that I covered many chapters in a short time. Because the chapters were short and straightforward, I didn't get bored at any point.
I also liked the character development of the book. Though there were many characters in the book, the author made a clear-cut distinction between them. Each character stood out from the pack. It was easy to link unique personalities to each of the characters. An excellent example is Dr. Schwartz, whose loyalty to the German royal family was unwavering. I could see the strengths and weaknesses of the characters. It was easy to relate to them and their individualities. It's not easy to put together the number of characters in this book and maintain their uniqueness throughout the story. I commend the author for this excellent work.