Monday, December 14, 2015

The First Hostage by Joel Rosenberg

“The president of the United States . . . is missing.”

With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured.

As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. And ISIS still has chemical weapons . . .

Struggling to clear his name, Collins and the Secret Service try frantically to locate and rescue the leader of the free world before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

My review:

   This has been a book I have been looking forward to reading ever since I finished the book that preceded it, The Third Target; which ended on quite the cliffhanger.

  I have often wished that sequels did what TV shows often do when continuing events from an episode that aired a while before, and do a "last time on....."; only for books...... and they actually did that in this book. There is a six-page preface that gives events from The Third Target, which I found helpful and awesome.

  After the preface, the book immediately takes up where the last book left off. A massive airstrike and attack has been launched in the Middle East and the president of the Unites States is missing. At the center of it all is the main character from the first book, J.B. Collins; a news reporter for the New York times.

  Awesome is a word that gets overused, but it is a worthy description of this book. It is obvious that Rosenberg knows his stuff: politics in the US and Middle East, ISIS, Muslims in general, relations between different countries, and military and political actions that would most likely take place and under what circumstances. He takes all of that and spins a fascinating tale that kept me on the edge of my seat. With ISIS growing in power, the events of the book do not seem all that unbelievable and could almost be taken from the news headlines of today.

  Having a news reporter telling events in the first person adds an even more interesting dynamic to the story, and especially such a likable character.

 I had to put the book down a few times, but it is one that I could have read through in one sitting had I had the time. This book is suspenseful, full of drama, action, military fighting, and everything else that Rosenberg is known for. It is possibly the best book I have read this year, and I highly recommend it..... but it should be read after The Third Target.

About the author:

Joel C. Rosenberg is the founder of The Joshua Fund and the New York Times best-selling author of THE LAST JIHAD (2002), THE LAST DAYS (2003), THE EZEKIEL OPTION (2005), THE COPPER SCROLL (2006), EPICENTER (2006) and DEAD HEAT (2008) with more than 1.5 million copies in print. THE EZEKIEL OPTION was named by the ECPA as the Gold Medallion winner of the "Best Novel of 2006." Joel, an evangelical Christian whose mother is Gentile and whose father is from an Orthodox Jewish background, previously worked with several U.S. and Israeli leaders, including Steve Forbes, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky, and  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and TV shows.

He and his wife have four sons and live near Washington, DC.