Middle Eastern Thrillers

Long before Operation Iraqi Freedom, fiction writers were busy imagining scenarios of clandestine and overt political/military action centered on conflict in the Middle East. Check out these books to see just how prescient or off base these writers were!

The Last Phoenix

By Richard Herman

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As the radical Islamic states of the Middle East unite to capture the region's oil reserves, and China threatens to dominate Asia, U.S. President Maddy Turner fears these two powerful forces could secretly ally and attack America simultaneously. She turns to the only man who has the cunning to make her risky new war plan work -- Major General Matt Pontowski.
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The Last Jihad

By Joel C. Rosenberg

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In this fictionalized account, Saddam Hussein plans to launch a nuclear attack against the Western world and can only be stopped by an Arab-Israeli coalition. Jon Bennett, a senior White House Advisor, is drawn into the fray and must summon all his stealth and savvy to save himself -- and the world -- from absolute destruction.
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The Kill Box

By Chris Stewart

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"In The Kill Box, Air Force Captain Charlie McKay is chosen to lead one of the most desperate military missions ever: destruction of the biological weapons laboratory hidden deep beneath the Iraqi desert bands. Air Force One, returning from Kuwait, has crashed. All aboard, including the vice-president and former President, are dead, killed not by the crash but by a virus of unknown origin. The threat is immediate, blunt, and terrifying.

"The President vows retaliation, not knowing that Washington D.C., is also targeted for biological destruction. As the clock ticks down to biological Armageddon, all personnel at the giant Air Force Base in Saudi Arabia fall to the deadly virus. And as Captain Charlie McKay leads his strike force of F-15s and B-1 Bombers into the heart of Iraq on a one-in-a-million mission, the fate of the world is hanging in the balance."

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The Fist of God

By Frederick Forsyth

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During the Gulf War, a mysterious spy planted deep in the heart of Iraq becomes the key as Saddam Hussein threatens to unleash a secret, ultimate weapon on the Allied forces.

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The Enemy Within

By Larry Bond

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"What if a foreign rogue nation launched a war against the United States within its own borders? America's largest cities are in flames. Its majestic landmarks are in ruins. Electronic sabotage cripples its far-flung communications systems. Race battles against race in a raging civil conflagration. The first waves of a meticulously orchestrated international terrorist campaign have achieved a stunning and terrifying success.

"As grim national leaders hunker down with advisors, as the finest living minds in strategic intelligence together with state-of-the-art computers link up to search out and destroy the source of the savagery, as armies both with and without uniforms mobilize to win the ultimate unconventional war, two men - once friends, now adversaries to the death - race to a decisive confrontation. On one side is General Amir Taleh, an implacable foe of the United States, a nimble survivor of the brutal cross-currents of Iran's internal politics, and a shrewd fighter who believes that killing for revenge is pointless but killing for a higher purpose is justified.

"Opposing him are two American operatives who become tactical allies as well as unexpected lovers: Colonel Peter Thorn, the Delta Force veteran who has faced down the masters of terror on foreign soil and now feels powerless to defeat them at home; and Special Agent Helen Gray, as beautiful as she is a formidable player in the old-boy network of special operations. Together, they must find a way to defeat Taleh and his forces before the West awakens to its greatest nightmare of all."

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Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist

By Dorothy Gilman

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"[Matronly martial artist and spy Mrs. Pollifax] ... is on loan to her retired CIA friend Farrell. Her bag lady act is the first phase of a mission to the Middle East: to smuggle out of Jordan the final manuscript of the dissident Iraqi novelist, Dib Assen, recently murdered in an Iraqi prison. Allegedly fiction, the script encodes the shocking truth of Saddam Hussein's reign.

"Allah willing, Farrell is to rendezvous near Amman with a man called Ibrahim, who will deliver the manuscript. All Mrs. P. has to do is look as much like a tourist as possible to deflect suspicion from her "cousin," Farrell.

"But hardly are the two airborne when the coils of Middle Eastern intrigue begin to unwind. Mrs. Pollifax's seatmate is not the affable Arab businessman he seems and the little carved plaque he secretly stashes in her carry-on bag is not a mere souvenir. It is not imagination that persuades Mrs. P. that wherever they go she and Farrell are followed, even to the old castle where Farrell is to meet the mysteriously elusive Ibrahim."

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Mission Compromised

By Oliver North

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U.S. Marine Major Peter Newman is hand picked for a dangerous clandestine operation as the head of the White House's Special Projects Office. His orders are clear: hunt down and eliminate terrorists before they attack. When the mission is compromised, he embarks on a personal odyssey that threatens his life, morality, and marriage.
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Little America

By Henry Bromell

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"Little America opens in Boston today and tells the story of a man in search of the truth about his father’s past, a past locked away in the C.I.A.’s code of silence. Terry Hooper’s father—-Quaker-raised, Yale-educated, a sometime poet, now a retired (is he?) State Department veteran—was, in the 1950s, the C.I.A. station chief in Kurash, a small, newly constituted Middle Eastern country, a country caught in the grip of cold war politics, a country of beautiful and frightening Otherness (Arab women hidden behind their veils, scar-faced men on horseback with curved sabers, and streets that melted in the heat), 90 percent Muslim, lodged like a walnut between Syria and Iraq. Mack Hooper’s assignment: to win the confidence of the King of Kurash, an enigmatic, British-educated desert aristocrat to whom no one, not even the U.S. Ambassador, had been able to get close. In a narrative that moves backward and forward in time, Terry puts together the pieces of the puzzle that has haunted him. Is his father a good man? Was he a friend to the young King, or a diplomat-seducer sent to betray him?"
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Honor Among Thieves

By Jeffrey Archer

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"A fiercely patriotic CIA agent and a beautiful Mossad operative traverse four continents to foil a sinister plot to steal and destroy an American historical document on July 4, 1994, in a harrowing tale with a dramatic, triple-twist ending."
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Eye of the Storm

By Jack Higgins

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Sean Dillon is a master terrorist, an elusive, mysterious figure whose skills surpass even those of famed international fugitive Carlos the Jackal. For years Dillon has slipped through the hands of authorities on every continent, hiding in the anonymity of the underworld. But it is during the Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein is feeling the grip of the British and American forces closing in on him, that Dillon once again emerges -- right into the eye of Saddam's storm.

Hired by Iraqi operatives to strike a blow against the allied forces, Dillon plots an attempt on Margaret Thatcher's life. His ultimate goal, though, is a mortar launch against the War Cabinet during a meeting at 10 Downing Street. As Dillon's plan progresses, his longtime nemesis Martin Brosnan, an American Special Forces hero who has known Dillon from his IRA days, is recruited by British intelligence to nail him. Just as Dillon is within Brosnan's grasp, he slips away again. Step by step, a deadly cat-and-mouse game unfolds, although the odds are stacking up against Dillon's capture.

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