Without Warning is the third novel in a trilogy written by Joel Rosenberg, though it can be read and the plot understood even if you haven’t read the first two. The series features JB Collins, a New York Times correspondent, determined to track down the leader of ISIS, and to confirm terrorist possession of weapons of mass destruction. He accomplished that mission in the first two books (The Third Target and The First Hostage), and now deals with the aftermath.
Without Warning picks up the story following the rescue of the US President who was taken into captivity during a terrorist attack on a large gathering of world leaders in Amman Jordan (as detailed in The First Hostage). While Collins is portrayed as a journalist, he is heavily involved in espionage and gun battles in the first two novels, and plays a role in thwarting the full blow of the terrorist attack in Jordan. In the third, he and his family become targets of ISIS. But, because he previously scored an interview with the leader of ISIS and is, thus, the only westerner who has ever been face-to-face with him, he is invited by the Mossad (Israel’s version of the CIA) to join in the effort to once again track down the terrorist leader.
The final novel has plenty of twists and turns cloaked in a romantic interest and spiritual wrestlings, as well as geopolitical quagmires. The trilogy has a surprise ending and the journalist-turned-spy ends up masterminding a solution to take out the bad guys. But you’ll have to read it for yourself to discover the solution!
In typical Rosenberg form, the characters are very recognizable as real-life personalities, some even carrying their real names (such as Jordan’s King Abdullah). Likewise, the plot, while fictitious, is built upon logical “what if” scenarios, and there is a clear message: if America refuses to recognize evil, we risk being blindsided by it. Throughout this novel and the first two, consequences of failing to identify the enemy and name it are played out in horrific detail, causing one to stop and imagine, “Could this really happen?”
Seemingly always on display in his novels, Rosenberg’s grasp of Middle East geopolitics plays out alongside Bible prophecy in Without Warning. Though I tend to think The Third Target and The First Hostage were even more fast-paced and intense than this one, Without Warning will certainly leave you wanting to read “just one more chapter” before bedtime! It is well worth the read for those of you who enjoy geopolitical intrigue wrapped in Bible prophecy, with a good dose of espionage and a pinch of personal life. If that is an appealing recipe to you, plan to stay up late reading!