Ever feel that the world is stacked against you in ways that you were never prepared for? And as ‘thanks’ for risking everything, should you, your friends and family suddenly be shunned while the reasons for your actions are wiped away, so that it seems as if you never had the right to take the actions that you did? It would make it almost seem like life was pushing you down a one way road with you trapped heading against the traffic! Wrong Way Street by Joshua Merrick explores exactly this kind of situation. Jason Callaway’s reality is torn apart as the government he trusted decides to make what they ordered him to do just disappear.
Callaway has been a US Army Ranger for five years. He is no stranger to combat, having taken part in missions against terrorist cells in the Middle East and Africa. A helicopter jump as part of a mission to capture the Bin Laden ally, Yassaud Sharuff A’Danni, seems nothing more than normal business; at first. Unfortunately, A’Danni is hiding out in Lebanon, a country counted by the UN as ‘neutral.’ As the US government’s acknowledging its own responsibility for the Ranger’s actions becomes impossible when A’Danni escapes, the powers-that-be decide it may be simpler to just deny the fact that the combatants had even been taking action with any authority.
The troops of Callaway’s unit are rounded up and placed under experimental psychotropic treatment to take away their ability to even claim they had been ordered to take part in their mission. Jason Callaway (JC), understandably riles against this treatment; he demands to see his UN consulate. At this point he starts running into the lies that have been set up against him and his comrades. The UN won’t acknowledge JC’s predicament without proclaiming that he and his team were trying to assassinate peaceful diplomat Youseff bin Adashi (A man that JC now is able to recognize as A’Danni), so the US has ample reason to discharge these ‘offending officers’ from their military service.
The story is ready to begin as Jason finally is able to return home to his wife, Karen. Plagued by nightmares of his missions and the unsuccessful memory treatments he received, the two of them are managing to squeak by, reviled as JC finds that his dishonorable discharge has made him. Finding their dreams suddenly out of reach, man and wife look to each other determined to move on. Too bad that others can’t forget the past. Adashi/A’Danni and his connections in the US see it as prudent to attack the couple’s house and frame the publicly unpopular husband for the disappearance of his wife; and in this way Callaway becomes even less creditable so that no one will believe his claims of what is going on. This kidnapping of the now pregnant Karen can now be used as a further way to try controlling JC.
Wrong Way Street is a highly exciting book that is full of nearly non-stop action. It is also well thought out with delightfully intricate plots. Characters grow and change in a quite an understandable manner, like a great doctor who becomes willing to risk his job to save his patients, or a spy who finds herself willing to place her health on the line in an effort to right her own actions formerly taken through misinformation. Wonderfully, yet perhaps even scarily real.