November Station

Title:                      November Station

Author:                 Frederick Harrison

Harrison, Frederick (2015). November Station. Frederick Harrison Enterprises (available from Amazon)

ISBN:     978-1427696519

Date Posted:      November 11, 2016

Reviewed by Emil Levine[1]

Half way through the novel, US President Mason Kitteridge states, “This is the most goddam complicated situation I’ve ever heard of Sometimes, I think you Intelligence people create these things just to make yourselves indispensable…” The situation(s), of course, created by author Harrison[2] are multifaceted and sometimes seem mutually exclusive. jihadis have gathered in the Sahara Desert to take over Mali, hoping to make k a center for extremist conquest of western Africa. A Malian patriot has another force trying to conquer the same area. Iran has sent a squadron to help the Malians, and the Israelis are acting as advisors. Huge oil deposits, rivaling Saudi Arabia, are discovered in the area. (The chief of the CIA Office of Science and Technology sheepishly admits the discovery was a small experiment in ground penetration radar from the drones!)

The CIA has created a UAV base in Mali, November Station, to monitor the situation. In Washington, some members of Congress are questioning “drone morality,” whether it is illegal, unconstitutional and un-American to kill specific individuals (particularly Americans) without due process. And an American activist group, Say No To Drones, adds to the plot. The President, while authorizing November Station surveillance missions, withholds permission to fly with missiles.

Complicated enough?

Harrison’s seventh novel, November Station, stands alone, although it includes participants from his first six novels: The President, National Security Advisor, FBI Director, Director of National Intelligence and the CIA Director. Hannah Crossman, former CIA operations officer and now principal assistant to the CIA Director, plays a major role with the objective of preventing a radical Islamist takeover of Mali.

Will the President allow November Station to fly armed missions to end the Mali invasion, complicated by Say No To Drones representatives, embedded with the invaders (actually imprisoned), flying an American flag on the roof of their but co-located next to the invasion leaders?

The final chapter resolves the “situation” with remarkable elucidation and enjoyment!

[1] Emil Levine, in The Intelligencer (21, 3, Fall/Winter 2015, p. 129). Emil Levine, retired Navy Reserve Captain living in Vienna, Austria, served with the Office of Naval Intelligence (NFOIO), the NSA, DEA and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency.

[2] Harrison served in the Senior Intelligence Service of CIA, the Office of Naval Intelligence and the NSA. His projects with law enforcement agencies make fact and fiction indistinguishable in his novels.