Atlantic Monthly, Jun 2008, $22
Muslim terrorists attack the Washington, D.C. area by air, by car and by suicide bomber. Although all three attacks failed, the country panics as everyone assumes a new 9/11 will reoccur soonest as anyone with a competent thought knows you cannot negotiate with people willing to die for their cause especially if they fully believe God awaits to hug them.
Amidst the fervor of patriotism and fear, House Speaker John Mahoney, having learned from Oklahoma City and the extremes exploited by our leaders after 9/11, calmly looks at the known facts. He has some doubts about the majority wisdom of the pundits that Middle Easterners are behind the assault and assigns his operative Joe DeMarco to investigate the incidents. Joe wonders if the attacks are tied to anti-Islamic legislation championed in a patriotic with me or terrorist supporter against me fervor of Virginia Senator William Davis Broderick who constantly reminds everyone of the failed attempt to blow up the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel on Labor Day.
This exciting post 9/11 Continental United States thriller is fast-paced, but what makes it a strong read is Joe who “escorts” readers through DC politcal power in which ambition, manipulation, and conspiracy is the norm. Fans will enjoy the hero’s effort to learn the truth behind the attacks, but each step he takes seems to be murkier and fraught with “J’accuse” danger as the shadowy opponents seem in control of the media; recent NYT revelations on military experts on the TV news affirms Mike Lawson's theory that Pogo is right that we met the enemy and they are us. (see THE SECOND PERIMETER and THE INSDE RING).