The Last Jihad by Joel C. Rosenberg

The Last Jihad by Joel C. Rosenberg
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An Overview:

Written before the terrorist attacks on America of September 11, 2001, The Last Jihad is a political thriller that comes eerily close to describing actual events. The plot follows a Senior White House adviser as he tries to broker a deal to bring peace to the Middle East while contending with radical terrorists and their plans for evil.

The Main Body:

The Last Jihad opens with an attack on a Presidential motorcade by a suicide pilot using a plane as a missile. The newly elected president is badly wounded, and to make matters worse, his advisers soon learn that nearly simultaneous attacks have occurred in Riyadh, London, and Paris. They must find a way to avoid a full-fledged world war while preserving freedom and democracy around the world.

Evidence comes in that implicates Saddam Hussein as the villain behind the plot, and he must be stopped if the world is to survive. Meanwhile, Jon Bennett, a friend of the President, has spent his life as a Wall Street strategist, but is called in to help negotiate a deal, which may calm the fires of radicalism and bring peace to Israel and its neighbors at last.

Since massive quantities of natural gas have been discovered off the shore of Gaza, Bennett and his investment partners are willing to supply the capital necessary to access this energy supply, if they can get the Palestinians and Israelis to agree to a peace plan that will protect their investment. The deal involves providing jobs and sharing the potential profits with the citizens of the Middle East in return for their guarantee that the bloodshed common to the region for centuries will stop.

Ben Nett and his lovely partner Erin McCoy travel around the world in trying to get all sides to agree to the deal. Before they can end negotiations, however, evidence surfaces that Iraq has a nuclear bomb and is ready to use it. Listeners interested in a suspenseful plot told from a conservative, Christian viewpoint will enjoy The Last Jihad, as will folks who are fond of political intrigue and non-stop action.

Rosenberg is knowledgeable about the inner workings of intelligence agencies and diplomatic missions, and paints a believable picture of how decisions are made during a time of crisis. At times, I found that there was more detail than I wanted about types of weapons, and the many steps a negotiation must go through, but for the most part, I was kept interested and looking forward to the other books in this series.

The Narration:

Dick Hill reads The Last Jihad, and does a good job of conveying the tension of the plot through his tempo and tone. His broadcaster-like voice is easy to listen to, and makes the action seem almost scary in its realism.

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