Sep 1, 2014

Book Review: Extraordinary Rendition by Paul Batista

Pub. Date: May 1, 2013
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions LLC
ISBN: 9781938231261
Pages: 380
B & N:

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review Extraordinary Rendition by Paul Batista.

In case you were as curious as I was, the term, "extraordinary rendition" refers the practice of transporting prisoners to countries for interrogation and imprisonment countries where there are no safeguards against torture and abusive treatment. The purpose of extraordinary rendition is to gather intelligence information from suspects.  The government which initially captured the suspect might then be able to maintain a position against torture while stating that anything that happens to a prisoner while in foreign custody on foreign soil is not in the control of whichever government sent that prisoner, and so its hands are “officially” clean. Extraordinary rendition thus permits the torture and other practices of detained suspects, despite the fact that torture is illegal according to international law, under any circumstances. 

Extraordinary Rendition is also the title of the latest legal/political thriller by former defense attorney and current novelist Paul Batista.

Extraordinary Rendition tells the story of Byron Carlos Johnson, son of a former Ambassador, graduate of all of the ‘proper’ schools and for a number of years a wealthy, successful corporate lawyer.  He is contacted by the Civil Liberties Union to defend a suspected terrorist. Hussein, the suspect, is a mild, intelligent Syrian who has lived and worked as an accountant for a corporation in the U. S. for several years. On a business trip to Germany, he was accused of money laundering, arrested and spirited away to several foreign countries before being brought back to the U. S. for trial. He was repeatedly beaten, ‘water boarded’, suffered constant indignities and was held without any contact from the outside world. When Byron Carlos Johnson agreed to defend Ali Hussein, he had no idea what the ramifications of that decision would be. He didn't realize he would be walking into dangerous and unfamiliar territory full of intrigue, lies, betrayal, and murder.  Moreover Johnson's law firm was not exactly enamored with the idea of one of their top lawyers representing someone suspected of being a terrorist.  His whole life is turned upside down with that one simple decision.

Overall, I found this novel to be an exciting and well written story.  This story was quite frightening in its account of the abuses of the war on terror.  If you love novels that bring you deep into the psychology and complex motivations of judges, prosecutors, witnesses and perpetrators, in a beat- by- beat courtroom thriller, then Paul Batista's second thriller is a must read.  I was actually up until all hours of the night finishing this book because I quite simply couldn't put this book down!  There are so many twists and turns in the tale and the one at the end left me thinking! I'm still wondering about it now!

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