Tag Archives: Lion of Babylon

Book Marks: Strait of Hormuz by Davis Bunn

Strait of HormuzIt is with great pleasure that I participate today in Davis Bunn’s blog tour for his newest book, Strait of Hormuz! I’ve been looking forward to reading this third installment in the Marc Royce thriller series because I loved Lion of Babylon (which is free on Amazon this month!) and Rare Earth, the first two books.

Marc Royce is a former CIA operative who still does “odd jobs” for his old boss, Ambassador Walton. He has been in dangerous situations all over the world, and he’s incredibly good at his job. But things are changing in his personal life, and just maybe he wants to live long enough to make some big decisions.

While struggling to find out where the new threat to America is coming from, sometimes at odds with his own government, Marc meets a really interesting array of people – a Swiss operative and a Swiss police inspector, a Persian art dealer, a knighted English art collector, and many more, as well as several people he’s worked with in the past. (I love it when you see characters appear in multiple books. It feels like you get to know them better.)

I loved all the action from the very first page. It gets off to a quicker start than the first book, which I almost didn’t read because I was bored by the political talk at the beginning. In Strait of Hormuz, I was hooked immediately and soo glad I’d set aside an uninterrupted afternoon to read. It was so fun to try to figure out what was happening as Marc and his cohorts were trying to do the same.

Without giving anything away, I was also really glad when Marc and one of the other characters finally sat down and decided to pray about what to do, and to pray for each other instead of just for the impossible thing they wanted. It seemed like they finally had a minute to put their faith in action in their relationship. Granted, there was an awful lot of trying not to get killed going on – LOL! – so I was okay that it took them awhile to finally sit down together.

I really enjoyed Strait of Hormuz, but not quite as much as the first two books. For one thing, this was the first of the three where twice I stopped and re-read what was happening. I wasn’t sure how we just went from point N to point P, so I just shrugged and made a mental leap and kept on going. It wasn’t bad, and it wasn’t confusing so much as it felt like I missed part of an explanation of what was happening.

Also, this was the first of the three books where the fact that Marc kept running into people with a Christian faith and/or background seemed less believable as the book went along. This element was one of the things I liked most about the first book, Lion of Babylon – that Marc found a few Christians who understood him and helped him in places you wouldn’t expect. It seemed real and natural in the first two books, but this time…I don’t know.

StraitofHormuzSweepstakesGraphicforLaunchTeamOther than those small things, I had a great time reading this book. Davis is so good at weaving action and thrills through a story, keeping you guessing the whole way! If you want to read the first three chapters for free, click here and “Like” his Facebook page, and you’ll see the beginning of the book there for you to read. Trust me, you won’t want to stop!

4 stars, Really Liked It

Help Davis Bunn celebrate the publication of “Strait of Hormuz.” Enter to win His & Hers Luxury Swiss Watches or a $150 Amazon Gift Card! You can enter once per email address per day. Rack up bonus entries by sharing the contest with your Facebook and Twitter friends!


I received a complimentary copy of Strait of Hormuz from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.


Book Marks: Lion of Babylon

Lion of BabylonThis week’s not-a-book-review column is about a book recommended by one friend, written by another friend. Janice Cantore suggested I read Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn when we were talking about mainstream books that had characters in them with strong religious beliefs.

When she mentioned the title, I said, “Oh, I don’t like historical Biblical fiction.”

She said, “No, no, it’s set in the present day Middle East.”

I looked at her like I’d eaten something spoiled. “Ugh, no, Janice, that’s even worse.”

No, she said, it’s really good, it’s about a CIA agent and…

Seriously? I don’t read any of those kinds of things. I don’t like books about wars and hatred and people killing each other.

But when I was in the library, I saw that the book was there, so I checked it out. I figured I’d read the first chapter because I really liked Davis’ legal thrillers like The Great Divide. Then I’d thumb through the rest of the book in a few minutes to see what Janice meant about characters with deep religious views that integrated in a non-irritating way into the story.

I started the first chapter and mentally put my finger down my throat. CIA agents and special missions, ugh. I like movies like this, but not books, too much detail. The day the book was due back at the library, I picked it up one more time at lunch. By the end of lunch, I decided to renew it.

I’m sure part of the difference in reading that first chapter was not having a pre-conceived notion that I would hate it. But also, I gave myself enough time to get to know the main character. And he was a pretty interesting guy. Then he got into a couple of interesting situations. And met some more interesting people. And there weren’t tons of uninteresting-to-me details about political stuff and war stuff.

It was actually the second character, the Middle Eastern character, that got me hooked. He was a genuinely good man trying to help people and also protect his family while living in a time and place of war. Plus he was a Christian, which I found very intriguing. Of course, I know there are Christians in the Middle East. I know some of them are there to try to help people, some are converts in their own lifetimes, but this man was a multi-generational Christian Iraqi.

Because there were lots of relational elements with different kinds of people trying to work together, and similar kinds of people at odds with each other, plus lots of action without “boring” details, I ended up taking an afternoon off to finish the book. It was really good! I may have to reacquaint myself with all of Davis’ books that I haven’t read yet. 🙂

5 stars, Loved It!