Book Review: Lion Of Babylon

16 Jun

Marc Royce works for the State Department on special assignments, most of them rather routine, until two CIA operatives go missing in Iraq–kidnapped by Taliban forces bent on generating chaos in the region. 

Two others also drop out of sight–a high-placed Iraqi civilian and an American woman providing humanitarian aid. Are the disappearances linked? 

Rumors circulate in a whirl of misinformation. Marc must unravel the truth in a covert operation requiring utmost secrecy–from both the Americans and the insurgents. But even more secret than the undercover operation is the underground dialogue taking place between sworn enemies. Will the ultimate Reconciler between ancient enemies, current foes, and fanatical religious factions be heard? 

Chapter One

Born and raised in North Carolina, Davis Bunn left for Europe at age twenty. There he first completed graduate studies in economics and finance, then began a business career that took him to over forty countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Davis came to faith at age 28, while living in Germany and running an international business advisory group. He started writing two weeks later. Since that moment, writing has remained both a passion and a calling.

Davis wrote for nine years and completed seven books before his first was accepted for publication. During that time, he continued to work full-time in his business career, travelling to two and sometimes three countries every week. His first published book, The Presence, was released in 1990 and became a national bestseller.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include The Great Divide, Winner Take All, The Meeting Place, The Warning, The Book of Hours, and The Quilt.

A sought-after speaker in the art of writing, Davis serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.

My Impressions:

Davis Bunn has written another edge-of-your-seat, international suspense novel that will have the reader staying up way too late!  Lion of Babylon takes place in modern day Iraq, but the the country’s past has always been part of its present. Following centuries of war, occupation and despotic leaders, Iraq is poised to create a modern democracy among its Muslim neighbors.  But many within Iraq’s own government, not to mention the governments and corporations of the US and Iran, do not want this new Alliance to succeed.  Enter Marc Royce, a former intelligence agent turned forensic accountant, who is determined to rescue his best friend who is unexplainably missing.

Along the way Marc befriends Sameh, a lawyer and Christian, Jaffar, the Shia Grand Imam’s son , and Hamid, a Sunni prison guard who once led the Bagdad police version of  a SWAT team.  While becoming a friend to Iraqis of different backgrounds may seem normal to an American, the reader soon learns that Americans are viewed with attitudes of distrust, fear and dislike that are often impossible to overcome.  But over and over, Marc proves himself not only worthy of trust, but of the title of Lion (lugal) — a warrior ready to defend the nation.

Bunn captures the country and people of Iraq.  The war torn remnants of buildings and lives are vividly presented.  There is a certain weariness and despair that permeates the atmosphere and the characters.  But hope shines through in the determination of those who desire a free Iraq.  I especially was moved by the underground church scene.  People from all backgrounds — social and religious — joined together in worship of Jesus, not adherence to ritual or rules of religion.

Lion of Babylon is a great book for anyone looking for suspense, political intrigue or just a good story well told.  It is also a wonderful novel for anyone desiring to understand just what is happening in the Middle East today, especially Iraq.


( I received Lion of Babylon from the author in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Lion Of Babylon”

  1. Laura Christianson June 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    What a lovely review, Beckie! Davis Bunn will be re-printing the review part of your post on his blog, on Monday, June 27. Thanks so much for sharing it!


  1. Suspense in ‘Lion of Babylon’ Will Keep You Up Late, Says Reviewer « Davis Bunn - June 27, 2011

    […] review was originally published on Beckie’s blog, By the Book. Reprinted with permission from the […]

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