Joel C. Rosenberg has published many fictional novels involved with international spy craft. In a great many of these books it would appear that the author has sources that seem to be providing him with information about what is really going on behind the scenes in countries that are enemies of the United States. His latest novel turns on actions involving three countries that would like to see the U.S. destroyed while they take center stage in the world. These are Russia, North Korea and Iran. Marcus Ryker a protagonist utilized prior to this book by Mr. Rosenberg and a former member of the Secret Service is utilized to tell the story.
Setting the stage for the events described in the book Iran approaches North Korea to sell them high power nuclear bombs which can be used attached to missiles made by the Persians to attack both the U.S. and their ally Israel. Both countries, controlled by Russia,get permission from them to consummate the sale.
Marcus has been persuaded to supervise a visit to Russia on another matter does so also taking the opportunity to visit with Oleg Kraskin a double agent he runs. Kraskin convinces Marcus to bring him into the U.S. with the caveat that he is bringing a great deal of confidential information obtained from the Russian president who is Kraskin’s father in law. Before traveling with Ryker to safe haven Kraskin finds that he must foil a plot by the Russian president to hit the U.S. by bombing them in a preemptive strike. Kraskin shoots and kills his father in law, and also his assistant and convinces Marcus to smuggle him out of Russia. The Moscow Chief of Station, Jenny Morris, helps the two by piloting a plane with them as passengers.
The plot takes shape when the plane is shot down by Russians over Russian territory. Events unfolding make the novel another good read by Rosenberg. There is the hiding from and eluding the Russian military, overcoming the negative attitude of the U.S. that feels Marcus has aided and abetted the murders without notifying and receiving permission from his own government. To also complicate this very complex matter Jenny Morris is wounded when the plane is attacked.
The interactions between Russia, Iran and North Korea could very well be a real scenario between nations whose goals include destruction of their perceived enemies: the U.S. and Israel. An excellent book by Joel C. Rosenberg and one that will definitely entice the reader into an all night read plus keeping eyes out for the author’s next novel.
3/19 Paul Lane
THE PERSIAN GAMBLE by Joel C. Rosenberg. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (March 12, 2019). ISBN 978-1496406187. 448p.