Fresh Meat: Golden Dawn by Thomas M. Kostigen

Golden Dawn by Thomas M. Kostigen
Golden Dawn by Thomas M. Kostigen
Golden Dawn by Thomas M. Kostigen is an international terrorist thriller (available October 16, 2012).

Travel is a key element of the suspense novel, Golden Dawn by Thomas M. Kostigen, and I promise you will be educated about a lot of countries by the end of the book.

Michael Shea is an international journalist who is trying to get enough evidence to turn in his uncle, a bomb builder who began his career in Belfast with the IRA. When Shea sees his uncle with a maniacal president, he knows a nuclear bomb can’t be far behind. He’s seen before he can get what he needs and starts a run from the Iranian Secret Service that takes him to all kinds of exotic places and introduces him to the woman who has absolute proof the president isn’t who he says he is.

Shea and Neda Ghazali end up going to so many places your head will be spinning, but you’ll always know where you are and why that location is important to the facts. Kostigen did a good job with the meat of the plot, but he seemed a little stilted when it came to the intimate relationship between his two protagonists.

I enjoyed all the history and information the book includes as well as the carefully calculated plot that keeps you guessing from one minute to the next. Everywhere Shea goes people die and sometimes he has to kill them. Though his goal changes as he learns what the evil dictator has in mind, his ultimate goal is to put the uncle he watched destroy much of his beloved Ireland behind bars for his heinous crimes.

Neda interrupted his thinking. “Again, could you tell me what the hell you want? What are you doing here?” she asked loudly.

Shea gave her the simple answer: “They killed my . . . friend.” The emotion almost broke him, but he suppressed it for another time, another place. “And now they are trying to kill me.”

“Who?” Neda asked.


Neda’s eyes went wide. “The SAVAMA are here?! Why?”

“The president is here. I saw something that I wasn’t supposed to. And now . . . they are after me.”

Many thoughts ran through Neda’s mind, but she said only one out loud, and she put it into the form of a question. “If I get you out of here, will you take me with you?”

“Lady, that wouldn’t be good for you or for me.”

“Are you CIA or something? A spy?”

“No,” Shea said, a bit too forcefully. “I’m a journalist.”

A smile swept across Neda’s face. She looked up at the ceiling.

“Praise Allah.”

Shea shook his head, “Allah’s got nothing to do with this, just so you know.” He moved back even farther from her and walked behind a small table with chairs that had been set up between the living area and kitchenette.

Nothing in the place looked too personal. Besides the door, the only source of air was the tiny window over the door. The windows above the sink were bricked over. Something wasn’t quite right but he couldn’t place his finger on it yet. Shea stole another look at the door and listened hard for any movement outside; there was none.

“Why would you want to come with me?” Shea asked.

“My name is Neda Ghazali. I am being held captive. And the president, you see, wants me dead.”

Shea and Neda hit the road and travel by trains, planes, helicopters, and automobiles to get the answers they need to literally save the world. When Shea’s uncle puts MI6 on his nephew’s trail, Shea has to avoid even more people. Everywhere he goes there seems to be a trap. And then his uncle invites him to meet at their old home.

There’s not only a big twist at the end, but a definite turn!

See more coverage of new releases with our Fresh Meat series.

Leigh Neely is a former newspaper and magazine editor. She currently does freelance work, blogs at, and recently wrote the short story, “A Vampire in Brooklyn,” which is in the anthology, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices. She and her writing partner, Jan Powell, recently sold their paranormal novel, Second Nature, under the pseudonym Neely Powell.

Read all posts by Leigh Neely for Criminal Element.

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