Andrew Kaplan’s latest book, Homeland: Carrie’s Run is based on the hit TV series. After reading these books it becomes obvious that he should be writing the scripts. This book is much more realistic and has the feel for a thriller while keeping intact the essence of the characters. While the series begins in 2011 this story takes place in Lebanon during 2006.
He told blackfive.net that this book came about when Harper Collins and the studio decided to have a joint project to tie a book in with the television series. Kaplan became the obvious choice since he has written a similar series whose main character is an independent operative, Scorpion, and he worked in AMAN, Israel’s military intelligence. After gaining complete control over the storylines he agreed to the assignment.
In all of his books, the Homeland and Scorpion series have very believable characters, plots, and tactics. Carrie’s Run begins when she attempts to hold a clandestine meeting with a new contact, code-named Nightingale. Suspicious that security has been compromised she barely escapes an ambush. Because of a confrontation with the station chief she is sent back to Langley. To prevent a terrorist plot she acts insubordinately to uncover it and the connection between Nightingale and the leader of Iraqi Al Qaeda leader, Abu Nazir. The sub-plot is very interesting in that Kaplan reveals the compelling untold backstories of the main character.
The book tells Carrie’s story of growing up in Maryland and shows how she became a solitary figure. Kaplan portrayed her as a long distance runner during Carrie’s college years. “I decided to make that a metaphor since she has a ‘long distance run’ to find the terrorist plot in addition to her actual run for her life when she has to escape the terrorists in Lebanon.”
Both series discuss the culture of the Middle East. In the Homeland book he makes it very clear how women are subservient figures with the quotes, “Many men in the Middle East believed Western women were all sluts anyway,” and a recruited asset’s “husband, Abbas, abused her nonstop because she had painful endometriosis that prevented her from having children… and had once beaten her so badly with a tire iron.”
Kaplan stated to blackfive.net, “I want to show how there is so much deception going on and there is a need for our intelligence community to find the truth. I also want to show in all my books how that area of the world is very complicated. For example in Scorpion Deception I show how the Iranians have factions within factions who are fighting for power. I will also show this in my next Homeland book when I have Carrie travel to Syria for clues. Basically, there are two worlds. On the outside, the one the world sees, there are the Mullahs, women in chadors, and men shaking fists against America. Then there is behind-the-curtain where everyone drinks Johnnie Walker and women take off their rusaris and they watch American television.”
Carrie’s Run is a very suspenseful political thriller that can be enjoyed by readers, even if they do not watch the “Homeland” TV series. Unlike this season this novel’s plot is very realistic and riveting. The setting of the Middle East, the tactics of the CIA operatives, and the examples of the Islamic atrocities are very believable. Maybe in addition to writing gripping thrillers he can write for the television series because they surely need good ideas for plots.