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And Into the Fire    by Robert Gleason order for
And Into the Fire
by Robert Gleason
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, Audio, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Robert Gleason establishes a terrifying scenario in And Into the Fire. It's a plot to unleash nuclear terrorism on three US cities, aided by those in high positions in the White House itself!

The author postulates an unholy alliance of ISIS with Pakistan's intelligence services and terrorist group Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP). There's a nuclear-bomb fuel heist in Pakistan. There's a powerful and dissolute Saudi ambassador, who's in a strong position to blackmail a corrupt American president (which doesn't seem nearly as unlikely as it once did). The supreme strategist for it all is mercenary for hire Hasad ibn Ghazi, who once studied in the United States. He joins his underlings in a safe house in Virginia.

Anyone trying to stop this unprecedented attack? Well, there is the head of the CIA's Pakistan desk, Elena Moreno, though her superiors not only don't have her back - they're sticking knives into it. Once it all gets started she plays 'Thelma and Louise' with her close friend, headstrong journalist Jules Meredith. And she eventually enlists her estranged lover, John Jameson, a 'crazy recluse who lives in a hidden mountain redoubt surrounded by nothing but computers, guns, and fine wines.'

They desperately need his help once they have the full resources of the US government on their trail, the orders shoot to kill. And the good guys have one more advantage. Elena, Jules and Hasad were close college friends at a university in Texas, and to Hasad, Jules is 'the only person he'd ever felt truely close to.' They have (very carefully) kept a communication line open over the years. But will it make a difference?

It ultimately does, but in a surprising manner. Read And Into the Fire to see how all the over the top, pulse-pounding action plays out. And don't miss the Afterword, in which the author discusses the ideas behind his novel, 'the Saudis' support of terrorism', Saudi-US arms deals, and the insecurity of nuclear power plants. It's all scary too.

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