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Imputed Knowledge.

Imputed Knowledge

Edward De Vivo


4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406

9781494763283 $16.70

Imputed Knowledge combines elements of a thriller with insights on faith and God's involvement in human suffering: all this embedded in the story of one Jude Priore, an aviation defense counsel whose mission is to deal with the aftermath of an airplane's hijacking.

Now, Jude is personally experiencing a waning of his faith in God, and so the basic question 'Why are the innocent made to suffer?' only heightens his search for spiritual answers. That's really what Imputed Knowledge is all about, moving between a terrible hijacking's impact on all involved and the personal spiritual crisis of a man who embarks on a quest for answers.

But if you're expecting your standard thriller formula piece, know that Imputed Knowledge is something far more complex. It's all about turbulence: of faith, of humanity, and in Jude's own private reflections on his tasks in life. It's also about clues to terrorist actions that, ironically, lie in religious symbols; and about irony and testing in life that brings individuals to their knees only to rise up again, stronger than before.

Another difference lies in an introduction that uses a different tone to integrate the protagonist's world with the reader's: "Why are the innocent made to suffer? The curve of the question mark was like a giant hook tugging painfully at your soul. Your question stemmed from the rational thought that catastrophe in the modern age was making you doubt your faith....As Lead Counsel for one of the airlines being targeted by terrorism, you were all too familiar with your forthcoming assignment. You had become a fist responder to the devil's bidding."

With such a lead-in, you're off on a blend of adventure and spiritual revelation: and such a heady rush it is, involving sanctuaries where clues lie hidden in stained-glass windows, revenge plots targeting innocents, and challenges to 'professional detachment' that will ultimately test the boundaries of not only belief, but social and legal processes: "All the conventional postures of professional detachment were going to be rendered satirical by the vestiges of a terrorist's signature that you were about to inventory."

As Priore finds himself challenged on different levels, his belief system taken hostage and his courage assailed, he comes upon answers that actually make sense to him.

From encounters with terrorists their thought processes and motivations to the experiences of those on the plane and Priore's witnessing of atrocities, Priore becomes absorbed beyond professional boundaries ("Priore felt like he was wearing all the grime and repugnance of the assault on him.") and finds he'll have to use all his resources--not just those honed in hijacking litigation--to uncover the answers he needs.

These aren't just his discoveries, however: they're answers the world needs, too. And so as Imputed Knowledge weaves its story through violence, mystery, and confrontation with self and others, it invites readers to understand not just the roots of terrorist activities but the ultimate results of life's slings and arrows.

Action, drama, violence and confrontation that test personal and political boundaries, and spiritual insight: it's all here, presented in layers that invite both leisure reading and deeper reflection.

It's this unusual combination that offers readers a fine blend of action and philosophical, spiritual and social assessment: something usually lacking in a format that's strictly about action and intrigue. These elements set Imputed Knowledge apart from lighter, more mundane genre reads and succeed in creating a powerful, compelling story that makes its readers think about not just the adventure, but about social, religious and legal issues in life.

In conclusion: to call Imputed Knowledge a 'thriller' is to simplify its message. It's really a 'thinking man's spiritual saga' and as such, it incorporates and laces its plot with reflections on faith, doubt, and higher-level wisdom that uses the cloak of a thriller plot to make these ideas more accessible to general-interest, everyday readers.

Dian C. Donovan

Senior Reviewer
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Title Annotation:Donovan's Bookshelf
Author:Donovan, Diane C.
Publication:MBR Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2014
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