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Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite
When the Valero refinery complex in Texas City is sabotaged, forensic evidence seems to point glaringly to one culprit-- Iran, which had recently expanded its nuclear program. Instead of bombing Iran's nuclear facilities like they did in Iraq, the vacillating Israeli government has done nothing to crush this potential threat to their national security. In fact, Matan Irian, a former Israeli Army Colonel whose family was killed years ago in a PLO terrorist attack, created this strategy to protect Israel: sabotage a refinery complex in Texas City, plant evidence that incriminates Iran, and sit back while an enraged United States strikes back in retaliation.
However, the President of the United States hesitates to act without a complete forensic investigation. There seems to be no logical reason why Iran would willingly antagonize the United States, calling down upon itself the wrath of a much mightier nation, and one that instantly mobilized its two carrier battle groups off Iran's coast in readiness to strike back. The perpetrators of the covert black ops have made one tiny, but revealing, error: they left behind a minute piece of evidence that traces the operation to Israel. When the real culprits are revealed, the USA turns on its former ally and demands that Israel makes reparations and finally recognize Palestine's right to exist. Israel rejects this demand as naive. When the USA immediately withdraws all economic and military aid, Israel must either seek peace with the Palestinians or maintain an ongoing war.
This is a great read, a real page-turner. The author lays bare the deep-rooted hatreds, as well as tribal rivalries that dog the composition of the Middle East, and preclude a possible resolution. From the start, the author draws the reader into a world where modern and historical animosities are twisted together in a knot that seems impossible to untangle. The actions of two men, Namir Bethan (Director of Metsada) and Matan Irian, the man who proposes a drastic solution to the nuclear terrors that threaten his county, cut this Gordian Knot.
The author draws on current events, such as international fears of a nuclear-capable Iran ready to hit the red button at any time, to the natural anxieties of the USA bigwigs, to the defiant and entrenched recalcitrant attitudes of the Israelis towards any attempt at removing what they perceive to be their God-given rights. The author also eases the unversed reader into the technical and forensic aspects of explosives and armaments, as well as laying bare the complexities, the chaos, and the internecine rivalry that dominate government departments in the delicate interplay of politics and war. I enjoyed the development of the characters and the dialogue. Each character came with his or her history and motives, created in a believable and natural way. The author also has an excellent eye for visual detail to paint the picture of different environments for the reader. This is a must for lovers of political thrillers.