“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.