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The Satan Machine
by David Chacko
About this Book
Most people make their confession to a priest in a church. But what about the man who makes his confession to the pope in a jail cell? And what if he's also the man who shot the pope? Would the pope think it strange if he wasn't the first victim this man had stalked and shot?
Would you be surprised? Would you want to know?
About the Author
David Chacko is the author of twenty-two novels. Many are in the espionage genreusually set in exotic locationsand two are novels that deal directly with assassinations: The Satan Machine and Like a Man.
Chacko's books have been called "brilliant and scaring" (Kirkus), and "raw-boned and brutal" (The Detroit News). He is known as "a novelist of talent and power" (Playboy), "a writer of power and intensity" (Publisher's Weekly), and his work as "compelling and unexpected" (Newsweek), "a powerhouse charged with artistic and imaginative feats." (Buffalo Courier-Express)
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In The Satan Machine David Chacko has taken on one of the most familiar events of the twentieth centurythe attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. There has been so much written about the subject that a fresh point of view seems improbable, but Chacko proves that false.
He does this by throwing aside the half-baked theories that have been floated for the last thirty years. Forget the Bulgarians, the Russians and the KGB (sorry, Tom Clancy). That geopolitical complex had nothing to do with what happened in St. Peter's Square in May 1981, Chacko says, though it did affect what happened in Turkey in the late 1970s. That's where a fair portion of this story is set. What happened there at that time was a species of chaos that should never take place in a sane democratic society.
Turkey was a battleground between left and right that was fought in the streets with extreme fury. Like Germany in the 1930s, it spawned violent factions of which the fascist Gray Wolves were one. Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who shot the pope, was a Wolf. He and his friends and the things they did are Chacko's focus in The Satan Machine. In fact, they are the gears of the machine, though never its power.
All this would mean little to a writer who knew Turkey superficially, but Chacko has proven through several books that he knows the country, and particularly the city of Istanbul, where much of the ferment occurred, like few writers in English. We could ask who knows it better and come away with nothing.
The daily life of the city, the power relationships, the cuisine, the politicians high and low, the intelligence agents who are always among the lowest, the violence and sectarian hatreds, are all brought to life in a vivid and original way. In the end the main thing we marvel at is not how the violence was finally contained, but how it seems the most natural thing to have spread across Turkey's borders and into the lap of what we call Western Civilization.
The Satan Machine was published by Foremost Press. It can be ordered through local bookstores and at ForemostPress.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com.
ISBN 10: 1-936154-90-0
185 pp, $12.97