The Twelfth Imam (Must-read and Giveaway)

Renee Ann Smith —  July 18, 2011 — 29 Comments

“Don’t you know how close we are, you fool? Don’t you know how pious we must be? He’s coming at any moment. We must be ready.” ~from The Twelfth Imam~

These words from Joel Rosenberg’s latest are not uttered by an evangelical Christian but by a Muslim at the top of the Iranian power structure. His statement greatly impacts agent Reza Tabrizi (David Shirazi), the first of his CIA colleagues to realize that at the heart of the Iranian nuclear program is a group of men who believe the world is in its last days.

These men are looking for the appearance of their Promised One, the Twelfth Imam, who will come in power and might to destroy all Jews, Christians, and infidels and reward the faithful. And the men believe they can hasten their Imam’s coming by using nuclear weapons to destroy Israel and the USA.

The story is actually set in motion earlier than this, by an incident in 1979 that brings two families together. The Harpers are an American couple living in Iran while Charles works at the American Embassy. The Shirazis are conservative Iranians who risk their lives to save the Harpers when the embassy is overthrown. Thus begins a friendship that will affect world events twenty years later—through the lives of their children, David Shirazi and Marseille Harper.

Another key player is Najjar Malik. While David and Marseille are experiencing Western childhoods, Najjar is growing up in Iraq.

Eventually, he becomes a physicist for Iran. At first he is thrilled with his life. He’s married to the girl of his dreams, raising a sweet baby daughter, and working for his wife’s father, a man he greatly admires. Then he learns that the nuclear program is a front for a more nefarious undertaking. Najjar must decide if this is the way of the Promised One or if he is being deceived. However, he cannot share his doubts or he will be killed.

At first when David is assigned to Iran, he is pleased to be in his parents’ homeland. His CIA mentor Jack Zalinsky remains cynical. But David attends the mosque, prays five times a day, reads the Koran, and searches for truth. Soon enough he is drawn into a thrilling mystery, which involves the sightings of a miracle-working Imam and espionage in the nuclear facility. He also finds himself dealing with family problems and following a quest to locate an old flame. When the least likely player in this novel is converted to Christianity, the story takes an amazing turn!

I loved this book! It provided heart-stopping suspense, educated me concerning some important historical events in the Middle East and their significance, and inspired sincere thankfulness. I’m grateful that I was born in a free country, taught about God at a young age, accepted Christ, and had access to Bibles, inspirational books, and sermons that teach Truth. And I’m also grateful to know that the God of all mercy is finding ways to touch hearts all across the Middle East. As He promises, “You will seek Me and you will find Me when you search for me with all your heart.”

Giveaway: This is a giveaway post. A comment on this book review can include you in the July giveaway: a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Check back at the end of July to see if you’re the winner!

I “earned” this book through the Tyndale Summer Reading Program. All you do is review five books from their reading list to earn a free book. And you can participate even if you don’t have a blog! Follow this link for details.

About the author: Joel Rosenberg is the author of both fiction (political thrillers) and non-fiction books, which focus on the Middle East. His books are great! Follow this link to check out his Amazon’s author page.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

29 responses to The Twelfth Imam (Must-read and Giveaway)

  1. If this is open to all, please count me in. Sounds a good book. Thank you for the giveaway.

  2. Wow Renee- great review and I keep seeing this book pop up ins so many places, so I know it’s a good one. Thanks for hosting this giveaway! Blessings- Cheryl

  3. Ok well you have me on this one Renee! I think I’ve read this authors first book- but not sure as I type this. And, I may need to share it with some folks who ask what I’m reading-they do not seem to understand life from our perspective. I could be wrong, but time will tell I suppose.
    Thanks for the encouragement to get this one & read it!
    PS- congratulations on the name mention on that website(can’t remember it either now) even though my mom didn’t understand all the ins & outs of getting there(nor do I for that matter) she was excited too!

    • Thanks for the congrats, Julie! It’s fun to be getting some positive feedback from folks . . . This book was so good! I love how Joel Rosenberg uses some real events, has the characters share what they believe from the Koran, ties this in with decisions–it makes a lot of sense.

  4. Renee, I completely agree with your review of this book! It is a wonderful book and I too would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Middle East. I have enjoyed many of your recommendations from your Twitter tweets and I couldn’t help but stop by and look at this. Thank you for taking the time to pass along your wealth of information to others!

  5. I have this book on my to-read list. I just recently started reading books that are suspenseful and some thrillers and love them. I was always afraid that they would be too much and now I hate that I have been missing out. Thanks for the chance to win this and please include me.

  6. Oh goodness, you’ve already earned a book from Tyndale?? Sheesh. 😉 I still have 2 to go, but am eyeing the one I want!

    • Casey, here’s my secret–I’d been re-reading the Left Behind Series because some of my students are into them, and I reviewed all the ones on the summer reading list! . . . Glad to see you here. You’re entered again in the drawing 🙂

  7. I agree with you about Rosenberg. I have read another book by him and he does deliver suspense made all the more urgent by his knowledge of the Middle East.

    • I really enjoyed his Copper Scroll series and his Epicenter dvd. Great stuff!

      Thanks for popping in for a visit, Marcia! You can be entered in my special July contest 🙂 Blessings!

  8. haven’t read Joel before so this is quite an intriguing intro! thanks “)

  9. I believe Glenn Beck recommended this book as a read. Would love to read it.

  10. Love suspense, gosh this book has it all. Really want to read it. Please enter me.


  11. I’m currently reading Epicenter and find it fascinating to get perspective on events in the Middle East. Joel Rosenberg has had amazing life experiences, and he writes as he takes time to look through “the lens of scripture.”

    I would like to read his novel. Please count me in.

  12. Hi, FHC, Joyce, Carol, and Carol! You’re all entered in the drawing for the Amazon gift card. It’s my ongoing giveaway for the month of July. Pop back in on the 31st to see who wins 🙂

  13. That was a great review on the book. I am for sure going to look into reading this one. I know my husband would enjoy it too. Thanks for the lead.
    Blessings to you!

  14. I am planning on buying this book for HUbby!!! I hope I win! Haha…. We tried a lot of bookstores but it doesnt seem like they have it here in Singapore so the only option is to buy it online. As soon as Hubby finished Epicenter, he couldn’t wait to have this book!

  15. thanks for the chance to read this novel 🙂

  16. I enjoyed the review of this book and we just never know what is going on in this world.
    Scary isn’t it.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  17. Hi, I’m a new follower. I’ve never read any of Joel’s books, but I often read his blog. Looks like a great book. Feel free to come visit my blog at…
    Cathy 🙂

  18. Wow Renee- great review and I keep seeing this book pop up ins so many places, so I know it’s a good one. Thanks for hosting this giveaway! Blessings- Cheryl ihhcheryl(at)comcast(dot)net
    Hello to all
    How much you know about Islam and Shi’ism?
    How much you know about the Imam Mahdi?
    I suggest instead of identifying him by such novels as books go there Shiites and Shiite mosques even go to visit

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