Smugglers Lane Press (2021)
Reviewed by Ashley Hooker for Reader Views (07/2021)
“Blue Madagascar” begins with a suspenseful and chilling prologue describing the events surrounding the news of the death of a presidential candidate. It seems a woman has committed the crime, but no one knows who she is. Further along in our story, Kaplan weaves a picture that is all too familiar.
The plot of “Blue Madagascar” is somewhat complicated. To begin with, the reader is in France where a car theft by Vincent the Cat has taken place and his crew is preparing to rob a jewelry store. During the robbery, a man is killed, and an interesting woman becomes a major player in the plot. Readers are then whisked around the world to Belgrade, Greece, Mexico, and the U.S.A, all trying to learn who this woman is and what secret certain political figures were hiding. The jewelry store casualty would be a man that ultimately held those secrets. The journey to find out who the dead man is leads to a huge revelation that could change American politics and foreign relations.
Several thoughts ran through my mind as I was reading. First, I thought about the man killed in the jewelry store. He had carefully hidden the secrets of his colleagues for years. Now he is dead and has made arrangements to make things right. Exposing crime and deception can be accomplished at any stage in life or death. If we think the truth will never surface, we are wrong.
Secondly, I thought about the twists and turns of Kaplan’s plot. Honestly, it was like watching the nightly news. There were CIA, Homeland Security, and the popular Russian involvement in a plan dubbed Blue Madagascar. People were being killed left and right. Let’s not forget the Serbian involvement and the mafia. There were times I almost laughed.
After finishing “Blue Madagascar,” I took some time to reflect on how this work of fiction could almost be non-fiction. For example, Russian involvement in U.S politics and those in Washington that are working with them. The Zemun clan in Serbia is a real crime group that was active in the 1990s in Belgrade. He makes mention of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski. Kaplan did not limit how far he would go to authenticate his story.
The reader walks away learning that our country, America, is not a sole entity in the world. We are but one player on a worldwide stage. We are not invincible to the actions of the world, and we certainly cannot be the savior of the universe. It also brings to light that no matter what badge you wear, you can become jaded and make the wrong choices. Political figures can make mistakes and should be held accountable.
Ultimately, Andrew Kaplan crafted a work of fiction that tells a story similar to the world we live in. The interconnectedness of our world is amazing yet dangerous. Good people turn bad, and the truth will always surface. No one gets away with everything all the time.
I gave this work 4/5 stars because the plot is difficult to follow, and the number of characters was large. During the time I was reading, I had to take notes to keep up. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a political conspiracy theory story line.