A Gripping Political Thriller

“But I believe that evil forces make evil men do evil things. That’s how I anticipate what can and will happen next in life. That’s how I got to be the head of the Mossad, young man. And why I’m good at it. It’s going to be one hell of an August, and my country is going to suffer very badly because your country doesn’t believe in evil, and mine was born out of the ashes of the Holocaust.”—Joel C. Rosenberg, The Last Jihad.

Jon Bennett and Erin McCoy, two of Wall Street’s shrewdest strategists, are close friends of the President of the United States. They are working on a billion-dollar oil deal off the coast of Tel Aviv and Gaza, aiming to form a historic peace treaty that could bring immense wealth to both Israelis and Palestinians. But their plans take a drastic turn when terror strikes.

Terrorists hijack a jet and crash it into an American city, kicking off a series of catastrophic events. Israeli commandos prevent a nuclear attack but uncover evidence pointing to Washington and New York as the next targets. Suddenly, the United States is plunged into a war in the Middle East over terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, forever altering the course of history.

Rosenberg’s novel is a whirlwind of characters and fast-paced, quirky dialogue. The story’s timeliness, set in a future not long after 9-11, adds a palpable urgency. President James MacPherson, having led international efforts to dismantle terrorist camps, faces a new threat as coordinated bombings hit Paris, London, and multiple U.S. sites. Quick-thinking agents save the president from an assassination attempt, but he is severely wounded.

The Last Jihad is a cliffhanger from start to finish, though it might not appeal to those who aren’t Christian or don’t believe in the biblical significance of Jews as God’s chosen people. Despite the complex array of characters, Rosenberg crafts a thrilling tale of political intrigue and action.

Rated 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4.

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