Once again, Joel C. Rosenberg has pulled themes and plots from the daily headlines to create a work of fiction that seems more like a documentary. While the United States government is busy trying to solve the country's economic crisis, there is less attention being paid to the build-up of nuclear weapons in Iran. The Twelfth Imam, or Promised One, is able to take advantage of this situation and is moving forward with his sacred tasks: destroy the Little Satan (Israel) and then the Great Satan (America). Once those are accomplished, he will be able to unite the world under a New Caliphate that would convert every man, woman and child on earth to Islam, ruled by Sharia Law.
"Once again, Joel C. Rosenberg has pulled themes and plots from the daily headlines to create a work of fiction that seems more like a documentary."
Unfortunately, the President of the United States continues to cling to the notion that he can negotiate a peaceful settlement of the hostilities that have existed between the Muslims and Jews for thousands of years. Regardless of the intelligence gathered by undercover CIA operatives, regardless of reports from nuclear scientists who have defected to the U.S., and regardless of the pleadings from Israel, President Jackson insists on pursuing negotiations with the Promised One. This plays right into the Imam's plans to launch a nuclear attack on Israel that would effectively annihilate the Infidels.
While there are many heroes, David Shirazi is the superhero. He has been placed deep undercover and tasked with selling satellite phones to the top officials throughout the Muslim movement. These phones, having been specially equipped, will allow the CIA to monitor the conversations and movements of anyone using them. There are probably not too many American men like Shirazi. He is of Middle Eastern heritage, speaks Arabic, German and Farsi. He is also fearless and devoted to his country, laying his life on the line whenever he enters the hostile lands and meets with their suspicious leaders. And, of course, he is forbidden to share this aspect of his life with his family, often leaving him alone and without support.
While Rosenberg has the ability to keep the reader glued to the book through a fierce battle between Israel and Iran, rockets, bombs and nuclear warheads exploding on both sides, he also provides unique characters who interact on many levels. The dynamics between the politicians and the CIA, between the Imam and those he is attempting to lure into his New World Order, and even between the heroes and their loved ones, all work together to transport the reader into the heart of the story.
For those who have never read any of his previous novels, Joel C. Rosenberg provides a preface that allows for enjoyment of the book. However, it would be hard to imagine not wanting to read all of the stories leading up to THE TEHRAN INITIATIVE.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on November 3, 2011