The Bootstrap Ultimatum
Ben Tiller (a reporter) and Keera (his fiancée and a doctor in residency) go to Arlington Cemetery to pay respects to Ben’s father while en route to their Memorial Day weekend vacation. Ben receives a text message from his boss about a mysterious tip that trouble is about to hit a local store, and asks if Ben can cover the story. Moments after Ben and Keera arrive, pandemonium breaks loose because of a wave of shoppers who respond to a bogus “everything is $1” e-coupon. When Ben learns that the tip comes with a threat of commercial destruction – The Bootstrap Ultimatum — on Memorial Day if retailers do not cancel their event sales, his supposed vacation turns into a wild goose chase to find the perpetrator known as Bootstrap before it’s too late.
Author Avraham Azrieli spins a suspenseful yet thought-provoking story about how Memorial Day is treated as just another American holiday for retailers rather than a solemn time of remembrance for those who have served in the armed forces. While Azrieli’s narrative zeroes in on the commercialization of Memorial Day, the overarching themes run much deeper than that. Azrieli focuses on the irony of the honor and respect US veterans should receive contrasted with the stark realities of their situation, such as discrepancies in disability claims and the high rate of suicide. The treatment of veterans is also reflected within the protagonist. Ben struggles with his father’s demise serving in Kuwait, and questions why his father would risk his life for complete strangers over his family. It is not after Ben goes through his own set of harrowing experiences that he comes to understand his father’s reasoning. That said, Ben is truly a dynamic character.
Azrieli further employs contrast/irony through casting, relationships, and even objects. Bootstrap, Azrieli’s antagonist, is an interesting character. While Bootstrap’s story offers much credence to the disturbing truth about the treatment of veterans, even more disconcerting is Bootstrap’s extreme perspective and actions. In Bootstrap’s mind, it’s payback time. Another attention-grabbing aspect of Azrieli’s plot is Ben and Keera’s relationship, which is both cross-cultural and cross-racial relationships – Jewish and Ethiopian, respectively. And lastly, how sardonic is this next piece – Ben curiously naming his motorcycle Goering after a notorious Nazi leader?
Amid all the varied contrast, Azrieli incorporates other literary techniques to keep his narrative fresh and constantly flowing. The chapters are short, and many close with cliffhangers that often don’t resolve until several chapters later. Ben is truly a dynamic character. Azrieli also juxtaposes character scenes between chapters. A good example of this is Ben’s wild goose chase while Keera is helping at a nearby hospital. Of prime importance is when Azrieli accelerates the juxtapositions in ticking clock scenarios, such as when Ben is desperately trying to cut off Bootstrap’s vicious plan.
The final touch to this novel is Azrieli’s amazing ability to tie everything together through his gift of storytelling. It doesn’t get any better than this, folks! For readers who are looking for a good thriller, The Bootstrap Ultimatum’s riveting and fast-paced plot will keep readers engaged to the very end.
|Page Count||266 pages|
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|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|