Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Code of Honor

Kamran Smith's life is pretty good.  He's just been crowned homecoming king, he has a great girlfriend, he's a star football player, and he's all set to go to West Point after graduation.  He wants to follow in his older brother's footsteps.  Darius, a West Point graduate and Army Ranger, is Kamran's real life superhero.

Everything changes when a video of an al-Qaeda attack shows up online.  Darius is in the video--not fighting against al-Qaeda but fighting with them.  It's easy for people to believe the one time hero would turn enemy because Darius and Kamran are half Iranian.  They were born in America, but their mother is from Iran.  Kamran's friends quickly distance themselves from him, and reporters are camped out on the front lawn day and night.  Everyone believes Darius must have joined al-Qaeda, but Kamran knows it can't be true.  Darius would never betray his family and his home.

When it seems like no one is willing to listen, Kamran begins his own investigation and notices something strange about Darius's videos.  Could Darius be trying to send his brother a message?  When he is kidnapped by the federal government and interrogated for days on end, even Kamran begins to have doubts.  Is Darius really a terrorist?

Alan Gratz's new book is a thrill ride with lots of action, suspense, and covert ops.  It is also a particularly timely story with its themes of racism and loyalty.  Readers will love this one!  Highly recommended.

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