The insider whose warnings about terrorism on U.S. soil went unheeded—and whose book Against All Enemies rocketed to the top of bestseller lists—now presents his first novel: an all-too-believable story of politics, oil, espionage, and the earthshaking consequences that may lie at the end of the road ahead...
Brian Douglas, working for British intelligence, is in Bahrain’s five-star Diplomat Hotel when the bomb goes off. He’s as used to carnage as one can be, after his years in Iraq. But much has changed since that war. The sheiks have been driven out of Saudi Arabia—now called Islamyah—and Iraq has become a virtual puppet of Iran, now packing nuclear heat. The coalition forces are long gone from Saddam’s homeland, after pulling out their troops and leaving the mess behind.
But the mess isn’t going away, as this latest bombing suggests. And as Douglas and others try to sort out agendas and loyalties, motives and manipulations, the Middle East grows ever hotter—and this time withdrawal may not be an option...
It's 2010, and the newly established Republic of Islamyah the former Saudi Arabia is trying to destabilize Bahrain: the Diplomat Hotel has been bombed, and, as the first chapter of this intense debut thriller closes, the Crowne Plaza is "pancaking." Meanwhile, the deposed House of Saud is holed up in Houston; the Chinese are providing arms and training to Islamyah; the Iranians have the bomb. Secretary of Defense Henry Conrad thinks the time is ripe to invade Islamyah and seize its oil, for which the U.S. is locked in deadly competition with China. Cooler heads in the U.S. (and British) hierarchies are very, very alarmed. Sound familiar? Clarke's Against All Enemies delivered an apostate critique of the Bush administration's counterterrorism efforts, along with a vision of the future very much like today. The writing's nothing special; what is special is Clarke's passionate and deftly detailed version of the present, albeit one told in terms of its consequences. It's a brilliant conceit, and though it's sometimes drowned out by the din of various axes being ground ("It''s 68 degrees on January 28 and the White House still claims that global warming isn't a problem?"), the story is crowded with terrific double crosses, defections and deceptions. They're icing, though: Clarke's dramatic micro explanations of how things "really" work from a hand who served Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes are the true story. This is the first novel to shift all the way from Clancy's Cold War to the present war on terror.