A Brief Review of Joel Rosenberg’s “The First Hostage”

Shabbat Shalom friends!

If you like political thrillers, adventure, and fiction written about current events with a Biblical slant, get hold of Joel Rosenberg’s novels.  He has authored about 20 books (both fiction and non-fiction), many of them political thrillers based on current events and Bible prophecy.  He completed one trilogy (The Twelfth Imam, The Tehran Initiative, The Damascus Countdown) focused on the “what ifs” of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.  Now he has embarked on a second trilogy imagining ISIS getting their hands on weapons of mass destruction.  Amazingly, some elements of Rosenberg’s imaginative scenarios have, at times, come to pass in real life.  Let’s hope that’s not the case in the major events of the two trilogies!

I just finished reading The First Hostage, the second book of his second trilogy (following The Third Target), and as usual, I couldn’t put it down.  My only complaint (if you can call it that) is that the main character (JB Collins) is a newspaper reporter, yet somehow out performs highly-skilled special ops agents and terrorist on the battlefield.  Not very realistic, but it did make for good drama.

Without spoiling it for those of you who wish to read the book, The First Hostage picks up at the very point The Third Target left off: following a terrorist attack on the Jordanian king’s palace.  Key world leaders have gathered there to sign an historic treaty when ISIS strikes, killing or wounding hundreds of high-ranking officials of various governments, including heads of state.  A key world leader is kidnapped and JB Collins (who miraculously escapes the terror in Jordan) is sent all over the Middle East to report on the events that take place in the aftermath of the terrorist attack at the palace.

As predicted, ISIS is brutal and our hero gets caught in the middle of one mess after the other.  However, the plot has several unexpected twists that prohibit the suspense from dwindling.  There are major battles, key victories, and high costs that are paid enroute to an ending that sets up perfectly for the final installment of the trilogy!

As always, Joel Rosenberg has done his homework to track down and interview government, military, and intelligence officials from the US and Middle East countries to create realistic scenarios when it comes to the geopolitical elements of his books.  If you want a sense of “what the world could be like” if ISIS gets their hands on WMD’s, check out The Third Target and the newly released The First Hostage.  But a word of warning: start with a chunk of time because they are hard to put down!


PS: Stay tuned this coming week.  I’m preparing to share some information I gleaned while in Israel recently.

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