After Dawn Basch, a prominent gun-rights advocate, publicly taunts the Muslim community, daring them to kill him in order to shut him up, tragedy suddenly strikes.
IDuring the marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, a bomb rocks the streets, killing and injuring many innocent racers and bystanders. With tens of thousands of people on location, finding the bomber is the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack for investigators–who quickly get to work. While Lieutenant Jonathan Stride begins searching for the person responsible, the FBI quickly takes over the case, limiting his involvement. It doesn’t take long for the public to assume the attack is related to Basch’s comments, with all eyes pointed towards different groups of Muslims who might have responded to Stride’s rhetoric.
That theory deepens when several witnesses suggest a man seen in surveillance photos acted suspiciously with a backpack. That man is eventually identified as Khan Rashid, who becomes the most wanted man in America overnight.
The problem, though, is that Stride finds out that the man who pointed the finger at Rashid might not have been telling the truth. If that’s the case, then not only is the wrong man being pursued by authorities while the real bomber slips away, but the entire motive for the attack must be called into question.
While everyone else searches for Rashid, Stride chases different leads, careful to not cast any assumptions without cause, leading to a surprise ending that might cause readers to view their surroundings a little bit differently.
While Freeman obviously borrowed much of his plot idea from the real-life Boston Marathon bombing, his story is actually quite different than the actual events. That said, there are enough similarities that those offended or bothered by the Boston terrorist attack might want to skip this one–especially if you or someone you know was affected by the bombing.
Apart from the obvious fact that this plot seems possible because of past events, it also works considering the political times we live in. Not everyone will agree with Freeman’s take on such matters, but it’s easy to see how the twists and turns in his plot–which involves public outrage and Islamaphobia–could easily play out under such circumstances.
While some may consider certain parts controversial, Brian Freeman does weave in a thought-provoking message into his fast-paced plot, making Marathon a solid thriller that most fans of the genre will enjoy.
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