Category Archives: Vantage Point

Review: The Spanish Revenge: A Craig Page Thriller by Allan Topol

Title: The Spanish Revenge: A Craig Page Thriller by Allan Topol
Craig Page Thriller Book Two
Publisher: Vantage Point Books
Genre: Contemporary, Political Thriller
Length: 418 pages
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publicist


Craig Page, the bold and daring EU Director of Counterterrorism, becomes the focal point of an effort to stop the feared terrorist Ahmed Sadi, whose goal is to provoke a Muslim uprising in Western Europe. Ahmed, a Muslim fanatic born in Paris to parents who emigrated from Algeria, calls himself Musa Ben Abdil, after a Muslim hero from the Fifteenth Century War with Spain. Page teams up once again the resourceful Elizabeth Crowder, a newspaper reporter who has also become his lover.

Ahmed’s plans become far more menacing when he is joined by Chinese General Zhou, who had been exiled to France for his devious actions in The China Gambit. With Zhou’s assistance, Ahmed’s plan is to launch a horrific attack on the heart of Christianity. At the same time, Ahmed wants to retake militarily for Islam a portion of Southern Spain. He relies upon a medieval parchment he claims to have uncovered, in which Queen Isabella on her death bed in 1504 ceded a portion of Southern Spain to the Muslims in perpetuity. His one main obstacle: Page himself is hot on his trail, determined as ever to save the world from a master criminal. From Spain to Morocco, and beyond to Italy, Page and General Zhou renew their battle, even as Ahmed plots his deadly revenge.

The Review:

Allan Topol’s The Spanish Revenge is an elaborately plotted intellectual game of cat and mouse as Craig Page and Elizabeth Crowder search for the terrorist responsible for a train bombing in Spain. As their investigation unfolds, Craig suspects Musa Ben Abdil has joined forces with his personal nemesis, General Zhou. With Musa and Zhou one step ahead of them, Craig is in a race against time to stop Musa from executing his nefarious scheme to exact revenge and seek justice for a centuries old act of violence against Muslims.

The Spanish Revenge finds lead protagonists Craig Page and Elizabeth Crowder settled into their lives in Paris. Craig is the director of the European Counterterrorism Agency and Elizabeth is a foreign reporter with the International Herald. Elizabeth is also on verge of signing a lucrative book deal about the growing problem Europe is facing with the influx of displaced Muslims. Craig has reached a somewhat uneasy truce with the members of Counterterrorism Agency and he sometimes fights an uphill battle as he tries to effectively thwart the various threats that are exposed.

Ahmed Sadi is an intriguing character. He is not motivated by religious ideology. Instead he is pursing justice and equality for all Muslims. Ahmed adopts of the persona and doctrine of 15th century Musa Ben Abdil and carefully sets his plan in motion.

General Zhou’s exile from China finds him in France, living well beneath everyone’s radar. He is biding his time, waiting for the opportunity to gain power and continue his plan to make China a superpower. Aided by his wealthy brother who is still in China and some loyal military contacts, Zhou finds himself in position to aid Musa as he carries out his plan to regain control of Spain.

The Spanish Revenge is fascinating mix of past and present and fiction and non-fiction. Mr. Topol provides readers with a valuable history lesson that details how Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand expelled Muslims from Spain if they did not convert to Christianity. He also describes the impact the ever growing Muslim population and the disparity facing them is having on Europe today.

Not as action filled as The China Gambit, The Spanish Revenge is more cerebral as Craig and Elizabeth outthink and outmaneuver Musa and Zhou as they carry out their diabolical plans. Craig and Elizabeth find themselves in peril on a few different occasions when they underestimate their enemy. The suspense climbs to an all time high as the story winds its way to its spectacular conclusion.

Allan Topol fully captivates his audience with plots that resonate with timely and relevant political issues. Engaging protagonists, realistic storylines and worthy opponents keep The Spanish Revenge moving at a brisk pace. I am eagerly anticipating what promises to be an ultimate showdown between Craig Page and General Zhou in the final novel of this compelling trilogy.

Read my review of The China Gambit HERE.

Author Bio:

Allan Topol is the national bestselling author of seven novels of international intrigue. He is a graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology who majored in chemistry, abandoned science, and obtained a law degree from Yale University. A partner in a major Washington law firm, and an avid wine collector, Topol has traveled extensively, researching dramatic locations for his novels. He is a contributor to the Yale Law Report, Glenn Beck’s online magazine, and You can visit him at for more information.

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Filed under Allan Topol, Contemporary, Craig Page Thriller, Political Thriller, Rated B+, Review, The Spanish Revenge, Vantage Point

The China Gambit: A Craig Page Thriller by Allan Topol

Title: The China Gambit: A Craig Page Thriller by Allan Topol
Publisher: Vantage Point
Genre: Contemporary, Political Thriller
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+


In Canada, Francesca, a young American reporter, is brutally murdered to stop her from publishing an explosive story. She has learned that Chinese General Zhou has orchestrated a conspiracy with Iran to stop the flow of imported oil to the United States. General Zhou’s goal: To leapfrog China over the United States for world economic and military supremacy. And the ruthless General will do anything to accomplish that goal.

Craig Page – a daring and resourceful former CIA agent, now fighting terrorism in Europe – is determined to find out who killed his daughter, Francesca. Joined by the gutsy Elizabeth Crowder, Francesca’s editor, Craig peels back the conspiracy layer by layer, ultimately learning that General Zhou has a partner in the scheming CIA director, Kirby, who forced Craig out of the Agency.

The action moves from Canada to Tehran, Beijing and Washington, and finally to Aspen, with Craig and Elizabeth narrowly escaping repeated attacks in their attempt to prevent a catastrophe for the United States. It’s exciting and exceedingly timely, with attention focused now on China’s growing strength and power in the world. At the same time, Craig must bury his personal loss, as he confronts his adversaries trying to kill him.

The Review:

Alan Topol’s The China Gambit is a pulse pounding action packed political thriller. While searching for his daughter’s killer, Craig Page and Elizabeth Crowder uncover an international conspiracy that has far-reaching and potentially catastrophic global implications.

A grieving man’s determination to bring his daughter’s killers to justice quickly becomes a race against time to stop a diabolical plot that could bring down a nation. Using resources from his CIA days, Craig Page quickly begins his investigation into the circumstances surrounding his daughter Francesca’s death.

Aiding him in his investigation is newspaper editor Elizabeth Crowder. Her experience as an investigative reporter in wartime situations proves invaluable as she and Craig narrowly escape death and kidnapping attempts as they inventively travel from country to country while seeking information on Francesca’s death.

The China Gambit is an intricately plotted novel that is fast paced and compelling. Allan Topol’s writing style is engaging and his character development is superb. His storyline is chillingly realistic and flawlessly executed. A jaw-dropping and completely unexpected revelation brings The China Gambit to a stunning yet thoroughly satisfying conclusion.

I am definitely looking forward to the next installment in this fabulous trilogy starring Craig Page.


Filed under Allan Topol, Contemporary, Craig Page Thriller, Political Thriller, Rated B+, The China Gambit, Vantage Point