Here is a review that I wrote after reading “Liberty Restored.” The electronic form is available on Amazon.
Liberty Restored by Andrew Lopez is the gripping story of Gerard Del Fierro, a man who is haunted by the unjust death of his father in a bombing; his father’s death in turn spurs him on to seek out justice and freedom for the innocent lives that are threatened by an emerging ruthless terrorist group, the Fury of Islam. In his debut novel, Andrew Lopez laudably paints the uneasy picture of uncertain morality for a character whose job description entails taking a life to save others, commands his audience’s attention through winched-to-the-limit suspense and action, and effectively describes setting and sequences of action in accordance to different characters’ movements
The main protagonist Gerard Del Fierro is assigned by an independent counter-terrorist organization to confirm a certain seemingly innocent Arab’s involvement in a set of bombings in Seattle, Washington. Caught in a whirlwind of massacres, Del Fierro struggles to divide the prey from the predators; one such example is Yusuf or publicly known as Brent Kendall, a news reporter. Del Fierro races to capture the madman Rashid Rahman from taking any more lives in the name of “peace.” In the end, the ring leader Rashid of the Fury of Islam is killed by the hands of a hesitant Diana, Brent’s wife. Diana and Del Fierro escape from sure doom by the hands of Rashid’s reinforcements; but Del Fierro understands that terrorism never sleeps, and he can only rest a little until he is called back to duty.
The most gripping asset of this book is the way Del Fierro continually questions the morality of his actions. He is no cold-blooded killer with no conscience whatsoever although he is a lethal trained assassin. His supple conscience is his most endearing character trait. One major instance in which Del Fierro has a moral dilemma is his committing an adulterous one-night affair with Diana. Although Del Fierro loves her, he is grieved by the seriousness of his selfish act and attempts to let her lead a life of happiness with Brent which proves to be futile in the end because of Brent’s involvement with the Fury of Islam. Many other instances of his trying to wrestle through the grey areas include how he reconciles brutally murdering those he thinks are ruthless animals who kill innocent lives and how he aids those who are harmed during his skirmishes with his enemies even if it means putting his own life and mission on the line. With as much fortitude and wisdom as he can, he endeavors to walk on morally high ground.
Equally prodding is how the author manages to capture the attention of his readers through his dynamite crafting of suspense. After one lumbers slightly through the first few chapters, the rest is undeniably riveting. Each sequence of events logically follows the last, engaging the reader in a thrilling ride. The plot is realistic, not being encumbered by too much military jargon that one must sift through. The pacing is excellent; there are many scenes of interrogation, planning, and back story so as not to be over-crowded by the intense action scenes.
Last but not least the author does a wonderful job of relaying to the readers a tangible picture of setting and how each character relates to his setting. Each fight scene, of which there are many, is precisely written so that each punch and kick that is interchanged between opposing characters is understood and seen. Setting is also accurately described but in a way that corresponds to the actual story and not as to detract attention from it.
This novel is a highly entertaining read, one that is desirable to those who enjoy the thrilling action genre. However, it does not achieve a peak of excellence for some small yet influencing offenses. First was its distracting and imposing continual switching of the present and past tenses during the beginning of the novel. This diminishes drastically past chapter ten. Second are the quite raunchy and graphic details of Del Fierro’s tryst with Diana and Rashid’s bedroom scene with Dolores, his lover. The scenes could have had the same boil-one’s-blood effect without being so detailed in the lovers’ passionate movements. Lastly, the conclusion, excluding the epilogue, comes to a rather sudden halt from the preceding action. The reader expects a little more. But the author included an arousing epilogue so as to hint that Del Fierro’s adventure is still not over. A satisfying beginning has been attained, and a desirable promising sequel is being awaited by the many readers who have enjoyed this novel.