Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Damascus Countdown - Frightening, Believable, and Quite a Ride

CIA operative, David Shirazi, has proven himself a trustworthy follower of the Twelfth Imam – a man who is the self proclaimed Messiah of the Muslim world.  His apparent eagerness to please has put him in a position to draw close to the leaders of the Arab world who have given their allegiance to the Imam.

But now David is on the run, with his team of special operatives, to locate missing nuclear warheads – playing a lethal shell game hoping to find to the nukes before Israel is incinerated in a fanatic-fueled firestorm.

Joel Rosenberg’s Damascus Countdown takes up where The Tehran Initiative left off, with Agent Shirazi rubbing shoulders with the Arab elite while trying to get information on the extremely dangerous plans of the mysterious Twelfth Imam.  

While Shirazi meets with a top aide of the Imam at the Jamkaran Mosque, the Israeli’s strike, determined to take out the nuclear threat to their safety.  An all out war has started in the Middle East, and Shirazi is in the center of it.

Rosenberg presents of view of Middle East politics liberally dosed with Muslim fanaticism that is truly hair raising.  And believable.  He knows his stuff.  It would not be a stretch to close the cover of Damascus Countdown and see similar events unfold on a CNN broadcast. 

Eschatology, both Muslim and Christian, is woven throughout this thriller with a validity that not only drives the plot forward but gives credibility to the spiritual aspects of the events that play out.  Rosenberg does not shy away from end time prophecy, nor does he back off from prominently displaying the faith of his Christian characters – especially David Shirazi, a recent convert to Christianity, who is not afraid to share his faith with the men with whom he is facing death.

The story flies forward at an incredible pace, with barely time to catch a breath.  The action in Rosenberg’s Damascus Countdown, like his previous books in this series (The Twelfth Imam, The Tehran Initiative), moves like an Israeli Air Force scramble.   You won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough.

Damascus Countdown is a tight political thriller populated with characters who are smart and gutsy.  It’s a nail-biter for sure but also inspires with its faith-filled message.