Let’s Read Hostile Intent ch. 36-38

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IN THE AIR: DEVLIN

I do not understand the point of these sentences, the chapter itself makes it abundantly clear who the current POV character is and that they’re on a plane.

Anyway, Devlin gets word of the California bombing and decides that he needs to keep anyone on the plane from finding out in case…. I don’t know, they start a riot or something, and also he needs to land at a specific location. I’m not really sure why.

(He also realizes that the president blew his cover and he’s going to be killed because reasons, but we covered that last time)

He pretends to be a federal air marshal and concocts a plan that involves arresting a woman that one of the air stewardesses had pointed out as looking like one of “them” and speaking all foreign like, supposedly on suspicion of being a wanted criminal. And then frame her for something on the way to LA, of course. Our hero.

But then surprise, the woman is someone he knows!

“Hello, Frank,” she said evenly. “Long time no see.”

It was a good thing he didn’t have a heart. “Hello, Maryam,” he said. “You’re under arrest.”

I don’t know if I can handle all of this excitement.

Who’s up for a flashback to Devlin’s past? No one? Well too bad, we’re getting one anyway.

Turns out Devlin met this Maryam person on a mission in Paris, specifically while blending in by ogling women’s asses (because “they expected and deserved no less”). Devlin is immediately smitten with her and proceeds to act like a world-class PUA douchebag, and because this is a wish-fulfillment power fantasy it makes her go all weak at the knees.

Now he looked at her, really looked at her. Middle Eastern, short, slender, very fashionably dressed. She filled it out nicely too without any hint of the future rotundity that almost invariably accompanied girls of her tribe.

Just

“Touché, monsieur.”

“Frank.”

“Maryam.”

“Assalmu’Alayki Maryam.”

Fuck

Now she laughed heartily, and he knew he had her, if he wanted her.

Devlin is similar to good old Kvothe, in that he exclusively talks about women as if they were deer he’s trying to catch and eat.

Anyway they get into one of those improbable scenarios where Maryam tags along with Devlin on his mission and he kisses her as cover when the dude he’s trailing spots them. She proceeds to be surprisingly competent and they have various sexy adventures during the mission. As part of this they pretend to argue in French and Farsi, none of which is translated.

“J’aurais te donner un coup de pied dans la choune, mais ça degueulasserais trop mon go-dasse!”

According to google translate this means

I would give you a kick in the choune , but it too degueulasserais my go- dasse

I guess Devlin is wearing a really expensive go-dasse and he doesn’t want to get degueulasserais on it.

Devlin feels the walls of his emotional armor being broken down and jesus could this be any more of a cliche. Also a cliche is the depiction of Paris as being constantly filled with raffishly bohemian young lovers, something the book straight up states is a cliche but which it regurgitates anyway.

The mission turns out to be Devlin’s first encounter with Charles Milverton, who he was supposed to assassinate for going rogue. Needless to say it didn’t work out.

This part of the Quarter was always packed with young humanity, pretty girls and phony-tough boys, the Arabs jostling their way in packs over and through the French, who still had not quite grasped the extent to which they were becoming strangers in their own capital city.

BUT REMEMBER GUYS CHARLES THE EVIL BAD GUY IS THE ONE WHO HATES MUSLIMS AND DOESN’T WANT THEM IN EUROPE

NO REALLY YOU GUYS BELIEVE ME

“I am the Angel of Death,” he said, under his breath.

Devlin says this a lot, by the way.

The fight between Devlin and Charles devolves into utterly cartoonish nonsense, involving Devlin, at a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, pulling  a section of the roof down with a grappling hook so Charles drops down through the floor. For the most part this book takes itself absolutely seriously, but there are these occasional moments of ludicrousness that make it feel like a parody.

The fight goes badly and Devlin attributes this to his lust for Maryam, as opposed to the fact that his plan involved using a grappling hook at a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening.

Maryam held her Lady Glock steady on Milverton. She was a pro, but she wasn’t as good as he was.

…Lady Glock? Is it pink or something?

Yeah Maryam’s also a cool spy. She’s injured in the fight and Devlin carries her out of the cinema.

“Who are you?” she whispered as he carried her down the alley, her voice fading.

“Your guardian angel,” he said.

Paris was for lovers.

Jesus fucking christ.

For the next two chapters, it’s time for Danny to find out his wife is dead!

Danny Impellatieri’s first inkling that anything was amiss came as he gradually awoke to the soft, almost sexy, buzz of his secure cell phone,

I’m starting to wonder if there are people literally jacking off to the techno-porn in these books.

Anyway Devlin tries to call Danny on his sexy phone, he doesn’t answer because reasons, Devlin calls on his daughter’s phone using Hacking (which he’s not supposed to be able to do), he still doesn’t answer it, then he sees reports of the explosion on TV and races off to the hospital, equally grief-stricken and pissed off about Devlin putting his family under surveillance. Well, that’s what the book claims; to be honest he seems more angry than grieving.

When he sees his daughter’s injuries he has an abrupt PTSD flashback or something to the Iraq war and

No matter what anybody said about who was responsible for 9/11, for the men on the ground it was payback time for the sand monkeys.

[…]

The Arab response to almost any kind of adverse combat situation was to hunker down, lie low, and either turn tail—their ordinary course of action—or

[…]

Although they [“the arabs”] thought nothing of abject surrender and honored what the West considered treachery,

Yeah. I assume this is enough proof that Walsh’s “look at how racist and xenophobic my villains are” routine is bullshit.

Danny looks at his injured daughter for like two seconds then races off to do something more important, namely track down Devlin and kill him.

I really don’t get this part. He decides (as far as I can tell based on nothing) that Devlin knew about both the explosion at the school and the mall bombing beforehand and is therefore responsible for all of this. Somehow.

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18 thoughts on “Let’s Read Hostile Intent ch. 36-38

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read Hostile Intent ch. 39 -40 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Nerem

    Hey Alice, if you still read this blog, I was reading the archives and I saw your post about your novel series and I got them off Amazon and had a lot of fun reading them. I was curious about the sequel the book hooked at the very end – I don’t think you have a website or anything so I can’t find any info.

    Reply
  3. rmric0

    Is Walsh using the villains’ racism as a “kick the dog” flag? Obviously I haven’t read the book so it might be a little more obvious in the text, but I don’t think it’s the case.

    1) Walsh puts more or less the same words in the mouths of the heroes and the villains about Muslims.
    2) To be super reductive, while we know that racism is wrong I don’t think you can say the same for Walsh and his readers. There’s a lot of overt and covert racism boiled into the rhetoric and politics of the American Right (and America in general, but that’s less germane at the moment) – especially towards Muslims.
    3) ‘Charles’ has so far been set up as a “sympathetic” villain (at least in so far as anyone in this universe is sympathetic). He has that initial moment with Rory (even though it’s a pointless misdirect) in the hallway and then he stops Rory’s sister from getting raped. So while the true villains are not really fleshed-out, they’re still not as cartoonish as the terrorists.

    Of course what Walsh is actually trying to do with that is hard to tell, since he’s a bad writer. I’d imagine there’s a later scene where they try to tempt Devlin into joining them to fight for the cause but he rejects them because Murica?

    Reply
    1. Reveen

      I think the real conflict Michael Walsh wants is a culture war between Real Merica for Real Mericans and a vague morass of effete liberalism, greed, and cowardice. With Muslims as a horde of evil that both sides hate but disagree on what to do with. For the “Good” Guys the terrorists are an enemy to be destroyed, for the liberal appeasers Muslims are a tool to be used in politics in order to get their way in undermining everything right in the world.

      Islam isn’t even a real faith that real people believe in at this point, it’s a force of nature and it’s adherents are basically orcs. Charles is probably heading towards a “redemption” where he quits fighting on the side of the cowards and politicians and take up the fight against the enemy for real.

      And know I need a shower having typed all that.

      Reply
  4. Anilori

    Hi – first time poster long time lurker from France here. The French goes (badly) – “I’d give you a kick in the [rude word for female parts] but I don’t want to dirty my shoe”. Ew. I’d be offended by the bad grammar but the content is way worse.
    (I hope this doesn’t post twice, login troubles)

    Reply
  5. andrea harris

    The fight between Devlin and Charles devolves into utterly cartoonish nonsense, involving Devlin, at a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show

    Oh my god. Let’s see, from what I can find Walsh is about 15 years older than me, so now I’m seeing him in his 20s at those screenings of Rocky Horror where people dressed up as characters in the movie and I’m envisioning him in a corset and high heels and I cannot deal.

    Also the name of the villain, Charles Milverton, would make me drop the book in the trash at its first appearance and pull out my Sherlock Holmes collection. (Charles Augustus Milverton was a villain in one of the stories, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you.)

    Reply
    1. magpiewhotypes

      It’s just such an odd choice–they’re in Paris, so Walsh has a ton of romantic, mysterious settings to choose from, most of which he can research on Wikipedia. Yet he sets the shootout in… a Rocky Horror showing?

      Why? If Dan Brown was dead, he’d spin in his grave.

      Reply
  6. Reveen

    So this Maryam is either gonna be the One Good Arab, there to be a sexy exotic fantasy women to prove that Michael Walsh is down with brown people existing. Or she’s going betray Devlin and get shot in the face to show us that none can be trusted and extra-marital love is a weakness that prevents people from doing what needs to be done.

    Taking all bets! Taking all bets!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Let’s Read Hostile Intend ch. 32-35 | Doing In The Wizard

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