In Jacobs’ tense debut thriller, an American journalist investigates an energy breakthrough and becomes entangled in an Arab-Israeli political crisis.
In 2015, America is still reeling from a recent, deadly terror attack on a U.S. airliner. Pundits and politicians demand enhanced, highly targeted passenger screening modeled on Israel’s anti-terror efforts. Roger Charlin, a brusque Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, speaks out about what he sees as “paranoid policing,” and criticizes the Israeli security apparatus, which earns him a reputation as an anti-Zionist. But when Charlin meets Maya Cohen, a gorgeous, whip-smart Israeli security officer, he rethinks his stance on Middle East politics. Soon, the reporter and his former professor Benjamin Lampsky discover that a process for producing clean, sustainable fusion has been perfected at a clandestine New Jersey lab—a breakthrough that could tip the balance of power in the Middle East. As tensions mount, Charlin and Cohen race to prevent a global crisis that could lead to Israel’s annihilation. This engaging thriller puts high-stakes geopolitical issues front and center, and Jacobs deftly weaves a dynamic story around the timely topic of energy independence. The novel’s pro-Israel slant is clear, but it doesn’t suffer from heavy-handed politicking; instead, much of the focus is on the action, which includes secret border crossings, assassinations and air strikes. There are also some pointed observations on the role that the media play in shaping people’s understanding of world events, and how one “seismic exposé” can alter the course of history. However, considering the scope and complexity of the issues at play, the plot is wrapped up a bit too neatly—and quickly—in the final chapters, and a last-minute revelation about Charlin’s family’s past seems tacked on. That said, this inventive yarn will entertain readers interested in the connection between energy and global security.
An exciting thriller that offers a thought-provoking vision of how a single discovery can change the world.