Damascus Countdown
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2013
CIA operative, David Shirazi, has proven himself a trustworthy follower of the Twelfth Imam - a man who is the self proclaimed Messiah of the Muslim world. His apparent eagerness to please has put him in a position to draw close to the leaders of the Arab world who have given their allegiance to the Imam.

But now David is on the run, with his team of special operatives, to locate missing nuclear warheads - playing a lethal shell game hoping to find to the nukes before Israel is incinerated in a fanatic-fueled firestorm.

Joel Rosenberg's Damascus Countdown takes up where The Tehran Initiative left off, with Agent Shirazi rubbing shoulders with the Arab elite while trying to get information on the extremely dangerous plans of the mysterious Twelfth Imam. While Shirazi meets with a top aide of the Imam at the Jamkaran Mosque, the Israeli's strike, determined to take out the nuclear threat to their safety. An all out war has started in the Middle East, and Shirazi is in the center of it.

Rosenberg presents of view of Middle East politics liberally dosed with Muslim fanaticism that is truly hair raising. And believable. He knows his stuff. It would not be a stretch to close the cover of Damascus Countdown and see similar events unfold on a CNN broadcast.

Eschatology, both Muslim and Christian, is woven throughout this thriller with a validity that not only drives the plot forward but gives credibility to the spiritual aspects of the events that play out. Rosenberg does not shy away from end time prophecy, nor does he back off from prominently displaying the faith of his Christian characters - especially David Shirazi, a recent convert to Christianity, who is not afraid to share his faith with the men with whom he is facing death.

The story flies forward at an incredible pace, with barely time to catch a breath. The action in Rosenberg's Damascus Countdown, like his previous books in this series (The Twelfth Imam, The Tehran Initiative), moves like an Israeli Air Force scramble. You won't be able to turn the pages fast enough.

Damascus Countdown is a tight political thriller populated with characters who are smart and gutsy. It's a nail-biter for sure but also inspires with its faith-filled message.

Complimentary Copy of Damascus Countdown courtesy of Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.
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73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2013
Title: Damascus Countdown
Author: Joel C. Rosenberg
Publisher: Tyndale
ISBN: 978-1-4143-1970-4

"Our new mission - and this comes straight from the top - is to find both those warheads and destroy them before they leave Iran," David explains in Joel C. "Rosenberg's Damascus Countdown." "The good news: we're authorized to use any force necessary to accomplish our mission. The bad news: we have no leads, no sources, and very little time."

At four hundred and seventy pages, this hardbound novel is the next international political thriller of bestselling author Rosenberg that could well be a true scenario in our everyday lives. With no profanity but situations of war-time killing, multinational intrigue, Biblical references and prophecies, it is geared to both adult Christian and Jewish readers who have an interest and loyalty to the State of Israel. A cast of American, Iranian, Israeli, Pakistani and Syrian characters at the beginning of the book is a helpful supportive reference tool. This reader wishes all pronouns about God were capitalized for reverence.

In this fast moving tome, David Shirazi is a top non-official cover agent for the CIA who has infiltrated the Iranian regime when Israel initiates a preemptive strike on Qom, Iran, destroying six of their eight nuclear warheads. He and his small technical team are asked to seek and destroy the two missing bombs.
Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam, is ready to take over the Middle East region with the support of Iran, Pakistan and Syria as head of the Caliphate, whose main goal is to annihilate the Zionists by detonating the two genocidal missiles in Israel from Damascus, Syria.

When Iran bombs a nuclear plant in Dimona in retaliation, Israel is put to the test and blamed for killing several strategically placed Iranian children, instead of killing the Mahdi. With the help of a mole among the "Twelvers," the Mossad and the American team do all they can to find and try to disarm the weapons before their catastrophic detonation.

Throughout the story, not only does David accept the One True God, but unusual players stand up for their beliefs in political and religious arenas through the use of Biblical prophecy that has not come to pass yet today. Some of the author's prior books' characters factor into the final outcome of the story.

This is a great read for anyone interested not only in the prophetical future of Israel but for Iran and Syria as well. Rosenberg did another credible, fascinating page-turner that makes one want to keep his or her eyes wide open on current day Middle East events, and see if they line up to eschatological Old Testament passages.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2013
If you haven't read any of Joel Rosenberg's books then you are missing out. This is the third and the last book in this series. I am almost sad to see it come to an end. I would recommend that you read the books in the series in order. You would miss so much if you skip them. Not that you couldn't read this one first. It really builds up in each series to the climax in Damascus Countdown.

The characters are amazing. I really enjoyed CIA agent David Shirazi character. His faith as a new believer in this environment is intriguing.

I couldn't put this book down. The suspense, action is non-stop. Rosenberg captures your imagination of just one possible end time scenario. A lot of scripture is used throughout this novel. I look forward to more books by Rosenberg.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. In no way was I asked to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2013
I love Joel Rosenberg's books! I've read many other authors of the same genre, but doubt there are any better than Rosenberg. He weaves fact and fiction together seamlessly, along with great characters and mind-boggling action.
The 'Damascus Countdown' is possibly Joel's best fiction work to date, and I've read every one of his books.
I pre-ordered the 'real' book on Amazon, even though I have a Kindle, because it's easier for me to go back and look for certain passages and context. It arrived on the release date, and I read it in two sittings, finishing at 3AM today. There was no way I could put it down...
This is a well written, realistic, and action-filled thriller!
Five stars doesn't do this book justice!
Thanks Joel, you are not only a gifted writer, but your insights into the middle east
situation are compelling.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2013
Gripping. Intriguing. Descriptive. Creative. Brilliant.

This well-researched, well-written final book in the three-part series continues to show the author has his finger on the pulse of Middle East events. Rosenberg's political, cultural, Islamic and biblical understanding of the world's epicenter is second-to-none.

Without giving away any details of the storylines, suffice it to say that the multiple plots in Syria, Iran, Israel, United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are woven together in a thrilling scenario over a 4-day period....a 4-day period in our near future?

Rosenberg's descriptive writing style is compelling--one can almost hear, see, smell and feel the scenes. The surprise twist can cause the reader to open his eyes wide and say, "Wow! That was brilliant!" Then the realization hits that events are currently setting up for this "twist" to possibly be a real-life news headline in our lifetime.

This book (and the entire series) must be read to understand the global impact of the events occurring in the Middle East.

I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest and objective review.
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2013
It's a decent adventure yarn overall, with the popular theme of the Middle East as the bad guys and the Americans as the heroes. Being unfamiliar with Joel Rosemberg's style I was taken aback by the blatant evangelism in the book. The hero is a born-again-Christian and insists on passing on the message to all his team mates. Mostly they take it in good spirit, whereas in real life this might not be the case. The "convert or be damned" message permeates much of the second half of the book. Anyway I wouldn't read another book by this author because I don't believe that such overt prosteletizing is called for in a novel. Why not let the story speak for itself? I admire his faith, as I do anyone who stands up for what he believes in, but it spoiled the book for me. That said, I am sure there are enough Born Agains around to make it a great hit.

Not for me then. My faith is mine and I don't want unexpected and unwelcome broadsides in the middle of what would otherwise be quite an enjoyable book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2014
The plot holds the reader's interest, the hero is plausible, the setting is not far-fetched. That being said, the book is little more than a religious tract. This reviewer has a strong religious background. That being said, the book is offensive in that it relegates all those who do not follow a particular brand of Christianity to an eternity that precludes heaven. And that includes other Christians. There is a glaring ignorance of other Christian churches as when a young Orthodox boy chooses Jesus as "his personal savior" and requests baptism. Please! Orthodox churches baptize their children shortly after birth. Moreover, a Moslem in the Middle East is not apt to convert to evangelical Christianity but rather to the more familiar Orthodox variety. The book ends up as little more than propaganda disguised as an action/adventure novel.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2013
Joel C. Rosenberg is one of my favorite authors, and he delivers another thriller. Though Rosenberg is a Christian author, any lover of political intrigue would enjoy his fiction.

Damascus Countdown is the third book in the Twelfth Imam series. It mixes Muslim and Christian end times prophecy with the thrills of the CIA, Mossad, Iranian security forces, faith, miracles and even a tiny bit of romance.

I fell in love with the characters, especially Birjani. Our hero, David Shirazi, is a briiliant operative who sometimes behaves rashly, but always with noble intentions.

Events occur in the Middle East that could happen tomorrow.

Now, all I have to do is wait for the next Joel.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2013
Excellent story, viable plot and reasonably well written.

However, even though I am a religious person, I found myself skimming through the pages of excessive religious drivel- much more bible quoting than required by the plot and I began to suspect book padding....

I will not buy another book by this author as a consequence.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2013
As with each Joel Rosenberg installment, I eagerly await the next volume. "Damascus Countdown" began in the same pulsating fashion as his previous works. David Shirazi, as a covert double agent and new believer in Jesus Christ tries to find two missing Iranian warheads before they can be detonated and cause irreparable damage in the Middle East. He has to perilously juggle his cover as a communications broker for terrorism while trying to infiltrate the higher echelons of the Iranian regime controlled by the Twelfth Mahdi.Up to the time, when after a first strike against Iran by Israel, the Israelis are condemned by both the UN and the US,the prophetic analogies are credible, However the remaining two thirds of the book reads like an orchestrated military strike resembling an up tempo computer game.Mr Rosenberg becomes consumed with military logistics to the degree that Christian emphasis and attentiveness to prophecy becomes secondary at spots. Additionally, certain characters prominent in past books, now become insignificant footnotes and they are missed.The zeal of the converted Muslim scholar, Dr Bijandi, to evangelize Islamic youth and atone for past teaching of false doctrine is a spiritual focal point that is a refreshing interlude and does break up the tension of the conflict. Yet the conclusion presented is in this book is rather incomplete and while the ending is nice, I found myself wanting more in depth prophetic application.
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