The Last Days by Joel C. Rosenberg

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The Last Days is the second novel in Joel C. Rosenberg’s series of political thrillers, picking up 3 weeks after The Last Jihad left off. Baghdad is now a smoldering pile of radioactive rubble as a result of the nuclear strike ordered at the end of the first book ordered by President James “Mac” MacPherson. Former Wall Street high roller turned White House advisor Jon Bennett is now set to turn his oil and natural gas deal which would have made him a billionaire into an “oil-for-peace” deal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Where the first book was published months before the beginning of the Iraq War and depicts a scenario with Saddam Hussein still alive and in charge of Iraq, The Last Days was published more than a year before the death of Yasser Arafat. Bennett travels to Israel along with his assistant, Erin McCoy and the U.S. Secretary of State. They are met there by Bennett’s associates in the deal, Ibrahim Sa’id, a Palestinian businessman and Dmitri Galishnikov, a Russian Jew who now lives in Israel. The group travels to Gaza to meet with Arafat and the Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister to discuss details of the oil for peace plan.

The meeting is marred however, by a terrorist attack from an unlikely player. Arafat’s own chief of security assassinates the Secretary of State, the prime minister and Arafat himself in a suicide bombing. Bennett and the surviving members of his party come under heavy gunfire as a Palestinian civil war breaks out instantly. The group is chased through the streets of Gaza City before being whisked away to a CIA safe house nearby.

Meanwhile, troops in Iraq capture two men attempting to sneak out of the country in Iraq. As they are being interrogated, the U.S. discovers a terror network that is larger and more extensive than anything we’ve encountered before. And they also discover a plan for a massive wave of terror attacks on U.S. soil to disrupt New Year’s Eve celebrations in the United States.

Rosenberg is a Jewish-born believer in Jesus Christ, and the faith element is more prominent is this story, where it was mainly a subplot in The Last Jihad. Like its predecessor, The Last Days was originally released by Forge Books, a secular publisher, in 2003. Tyndale House, a Christian publisher, released the third book (The Ezekiel Option) in 2005. The following year, Tyndale House released the next installment, The Copper Scroll) while also reissuing both The Last Jihad and The Last Days. Rosenberg concluded the series last year with Dead Heat, released through Tyndale House.

The Last Days is a worthy successor to The Last Jihad, and in many ways, it outdoes the first book. Rosenberg has delivered another exciting political thriller and most fascinating read. The Last Days is an excellent novel, and I am eagerly looking forward to reading The Ezekiel Option.

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