St. Martin’s, Dec 8 2009, $26.99
CIA Middle Eastern Operations chief Jake Grafton assigns his top operative Tommy Carmellini to work inside Iran as there is fear that maniacal fundamentalist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is close to having his finger on a nuclear trigger. The Iranian leader wants a holy war to the death with the west and he believes his side will win.
As Tommy watches and gathers information, he has Iranians supporting him; many fear Ahmadinejad’s legacy will be a stone age Iran. While Israel considers bombing Iran’s nuclear sites as it did Syria, Tommy’s efforts and that of his associates and his boss fail to prevent the madman from firing missiles throughout the Middle East under the guise of martyrdom. Tommy and Jake to try to deflect his assault of missiles, including some nuclear, that Iran has fired in order to stop WW III from occurring.
This is a tense thriller that places the stars of in what feels like a potentially realistic extrapolation of headline news with recent revelations re Iranian hidden nuclear developments. The story line is fast-paced starting with the opening sequence of the Israeli destruction of the Syrian nuclear plant as told to readers by a Russian adviser killed at the site and never slows down. Though obviously biased as the American heroes are hawk patriots (not the chicken hawk couch potato variety of send someone else); the action enables the reader to know who are allies and enemies as Stephen Coonts provides a super tale of vaporization while exposing Ahmadinejad’s fanatical background that goes back to even before the fall of the Shah.