"Alienation: a withdrawing or separation of a person or his affections from an object or position of former attachment." Any parent who has experienced it--seen a son or daughter turn, blankly, away--knows the wrenching sense of desolation and the guilt, or the puzzlement, of the "whys" that swirl around it. What should I, what could I, have done to avoid this? More frustrating than that: Would anything I could have done made a difference, anyway? And in "The American Ambassador," novelist and former foreign correspondent Ward Just takes a chilling, in-depth look at an alienation that goes far beyond the mere "withdrawing" of "affections." This is not a study of a son who simply moves across the country, and ignores "duty" phone calls.
Put yourself in the place of a foreign service officer--dedicated, seasoned and proud of his distinguished career representing the United States in half a dozen countries.
Then watch as the evidence becomes incontrovertible that the son that he and his loving and talented wife have reared is now a key member of a murderous German-based terrorist group--a random assassin and a bomber of the innocent. For William and Elinor North to ask: "Where did we, or he, go wrong?" is as futile as asking "why did this cell turn cancerous while this one did not?" At the very least, "The American Ambassador" is a gripping international thriller as North and the colleagues who share the knowledge of his son's involvement try to unravel the motives, and the targets, of Bill Jr.'s German group.