Book Review: Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: July 1, 2011

Synopsis of book as provided by Bethany House:

Marc Royce has been a State Department agent involved in covert operations—that is, until personal issues lead to his dismissal. When Alex Baird goes missing in war-torn Baghdad, State comes calling again. Alex is a CIA agent—and a close friend of Royce. Three others have also dropped out of sight—a nurse, an aid worker, a wealthy young Iraqi. Are these cases linked?

Rumors circulate about a kidnapping conspiracy, yet both American and local officials refuse to pursue it. Blocked at every turn, Royce eventually unearths a trail of secret encounters between sworn enemies. What he discovers could transform the course of rivalry and reconciliation throughout the Mideast. As the human and political drama escalates, can one man summon the courage to make a difference?


Nothing makes me so sad as to finish a book written by Davis Bunn and know that I will have to leave the world he has invited me into. Lion of Babylon captured me from the first page, and proves once again that he is an expert wordsmith like none other, with the power to take me on a pulse accelerating ride while plumbing the depths of my emotions. The book was impossible to put down as I raced to find out what would happen next.  His descriptions brought the scenes alive and were often highly entertaining, such as when Marc's comrade, Sameh, reflects that "Miriam, his wife, was the most gently ferocious interrogator Sameh had ever known. She could winnow the truth from a cadaver". Page after page of such carefully crafted words drew me ever deeper into one of the most riveting stories I have read so far this year.

In Lion of Babylon, Bunn has offered me a glimpse into a world I've never really read about, putting a human face to the passions and tragedies of the Iraqi people. Bunn reveals what Hell must be like, where fear rules the Iraqi night and children are kidnapped for reasons of greed and power, but also gives a foretaste of Heaven, where all people, regardless of race or color or background, stand shoulder to shoulder calling on the name of Jesus. I was educated, entertained, and inspired, all in one sitting.

I highly recommend this book and grant it 5 out of 5 stars. Bravo, Davis Bunn. Please don't ever stop writing.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group