In an Enemy’s Country by Jim Fraiser
As a published historian, it would be fair to say that Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ferguson is focused on the past. Ferguson’s friends and coworkers are forever debating politics and religion – in good humor, of course – while drawing from centuries-old texts as evidence of their beliefs. But as interested as he is in history, it seems a bit odd to him when an old manuscript shows up at his office – a document that sheds intriguing new light on one of Ferguson’s favorite politicians, Thomas Jefferson. The mysterious manuscript comes at a time when Ferguson is involved with what had initially appeared to be a simple case of assault, but now seems to have dubious ties to a domestic terrorist organization. As the courtroom climate heats up, Ferguson must do all he can do expose a threat that has long existed in the shadows, and protect both his family and his country from a radicalized revolutionary madman.
In an Enemy’s Country is a striking addition to Fraiser’s already impressive portfolio, which includes a mixture of fiction and historical texts. With thematic ties to famous thrillers like The Da Vinci Code, this novel stands tall with an intriguing premise and an explosively entertaining protagonist. Other reviewers have remarked upon the dialogue and its compulsive readability, which can be credited to an abundance of underhanded slights and off-the-cuff historical references. But, arguably, what really gives the story its drive is Ferguson’s love for his son and daughter, a troubled family dynamic which is touched upon in nearly chapter and made more complex by the early death of the children’s mother and the anxieties that begin to plague Anna Grace, Ferguson’s daughter, when she develops – and publicizes – political convictions that are nearly as strong as her father’s. By including such a realistic portrayal of a family’s life and daily struggles, Fraiser has created a novel that is at once breathtaking and hauntingly resonant in its truthfulness.
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