The life of a writer is not a glamorous one. He or she generally labors in isolation - gathering relevant facts, rewriting, developing the tedious details of plot and character, rewriting some more, preparing chapter synopses, poring over editor comments, and did I mention rewriting?

For a good book, the process often takes years, that is years without reward and or fruit, except for that intensely personal satisfaction derived from the completion of each chapter.

What crowns the finished product is the appreciation of the book's readers. In that respect, I have been amply rewarded. Hardly a day goes by that I don't receive an email or personal message from someone who has read the book and was challenged.

Today's comments, however, were surprisingly long. 781 words long to be exact. And because they come from a Turkish reader written for an English language publication in Turkey, I was eager to share them with you.

Y.E. was also gracious enough to give me permission to do so. Thank you!

Review below.

Luke Montgomery’s “A Deceit to Die For”:

With all its intricacy and deceit, Turkish politics already reads like a page turner. It was about time someone created a skillful and intelligent page turner using Turkey and its politics as the base.  Luke Montgomery has done exactly that.

Montgomery’s well-researched book draws from the incredible but real affairs in Turkey:  The quiet suffering of the Turkish people during the last 10 years from the Orwellian policies of a regime with overt Islamic tendencies, one during which journalists are jailed for criticizing the government, the right to free speech is stifled by intimidating the public and where the government is the Big Brother who monitors private conversations and limits web access.   The Western World’s reaction has been to declare the ruling Islamic party an example of a new and convenient concept they coined “Moderate Islam”.   Meanwhile, the Turkish government has eliminated the internal checks and balances that are supposed to keep it under control so that it can reign without consequences:  The fictitious “Balyoz”  case eliminated the opposing Military echelon while another manufactured plot called “Ergenekon” implicated intellectuals critical of the regime.  

Meanwhile, the common Turk is aware of Imam Gulen who lives in PA, USA who owns Turkish media channels, whose network infiltrated bureaucracy.  Gulen operates hundreds of schools globally, including in the US via his organization and network.  

Luke Montgomery uses these very real ailments and parasites feeding off the Turkish nation as the  background in his newly released “A Deceit to Die For” which is available on and is being translated into Turkish.   Montgomery then weaves a compelling and modern human tale intertwined with a religious historic secret. The result is a page turner which engages and entertains while challenging the reader to conduct additional research on both the historical intrigue and the modern day politics of Turkey.   To a Turkish reader, it presents a uniting mosaic, joining the snapshots of real events in Turkish daily news.  To someone who may be less familiar with Turkey, it provides a framework for better understanding the parasites affecting Turkey today.   If I were planning a trip to Turkey this summer, this would be the one book I’d pick up.

A Deceit to Die For takes the reader on a whirlwind journey from the UK to the USA, from Egypt to Turkey over and over again.  The novel is based on the story of a document found in a collection of letters and books acquired by a UK professor which someone wants to keep a secret no matter what the cost.   The professor’s family in the US find themselves with the concealed document and confronted with an international organization on a quest to forever bury the 16th century secret this document reveals.  This dangerous organization does not hesitate to remove anything or anyone in their way, prompting the professor’s children to flee for their lives while trying to research the historic secret.  

The story unfolds a mystique that leaves the reader breathless.  The author offers clues revealing that the he is not only someone who loves Turkish culture but has also spent a long time in Istanbul.  This insight is skillfully scattered throughout the book as a treat to any enthusiast of Turkish culture, it is found buried in the intimate and very real slices of life from modern Istanbul such as the crowded backstreets of Beyoglu and Tunel, or the flavor of a kebap meal enjoyed by the characters with afternoon tea.

The plot rolls and the pace is fast, still the multitude of characters have been developed to a certain degree so that the reader can identify with them.  More importantly, there are no presumptions and stereotyping.  Judgments of good and evil are there but are not divided evenly based on nationality or religion.  Instead, the moral compasses of the main characters and their internal dilemmas are revealed to the reader, making “A Deceit to Die For’ a helpful instrument to better understand the mindset of the various interest groups in Turkish politics.

An aspect Luke Montgomery seems to have meticulously researched is the contemporary dynamics between government institutions and social classes.  He provides the level of observation and detail a native of Turkey would be intimate with, offering realistic snapshots and the private mindset of a suicide bomber, of Hizbullah terrorists and human traffickers, even of government sympathizers with veiled wives.  

If you are in Turkey, do not bother looking for the author’s web site which is censored.  We hear a translation is underway and will be curious to see the government’s reaction to it.  So until the Turkish edition is printed, look for this book on

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