Saul’s Game (Homeand 2), by Andrew Kaplan

Four stars (of five)

Fans of HOMELAND will surely find Kaplan’s second prequel novel highly interesting, filling in some of the cracks laid out in the television program. While working undercover in Damascus in 2009, Carrie Mathison is leading an operation focussed on al Qaeda terrorist, Abu Nazir. When the plan goes south, Carrie figures that someone is leaking intel to the enemy,as Nazir is always one step ahead. Carrie turns to her boss, Saul Berenson, who sends her on the most trying mission of her life into the highly unstable Islamic Republic of Iran, all to coax the leak out of hiding. Exploring back stories on Carrie, Saul, and a young Nicholas Brody, Kaplan teases the series fan with breadcrumbs sure to excite and encourage them to keep tuning in to the Showtime classic program.

Kaplan has raised the bar from the first novel he penned on the series, adding new layers to the storyline. The television series is intense and trying to capture the same level of thrills and drama is difficult, though Kaplan has done his best. Carrie, again the central character, has her flaws pushed under the microscope, but Brody’s youth and turning prove to be highly intriguing as well. Fans of high-thrill terrorism novels and of the HOMELAND series alike will laud Kaplan for his addition to the prequel series.

Kudos, Mr. Kaplan for all your efforts in providing some of the stories untold on the television screen to allow HOMELAND fans the added touch of character development.