In Hamilton’s debut political thriller, two CIA agents, a veteran and a newbie, unravel a terrorist plot centered on the first naturalized president-elect of the United States.
After the U.S. Constitution is amended to allow naturalized citizens to become president, Egyptian-born U.S. Senator Zachariah Hardin is elected to the nation’s highest office. As it turns out, Hardin and his foster father, Aman, a wealthy Arab living in America, are actually members of a shadowy Muslim terrorist organization with a plan to destroy the United States. A CIA agent, code-named Marilyn, finds out, and comes into possession of a cellphone that contains an incriminating photograph that will stop the plot. As she and Alex, a trainee agent, investigate, they try to elude Aman’s murderous organization and avoid the wrath of the president-elect and his Secret Service bodyguards. In intriguing flashbacks, the Muslim terrorist organization is linked with well-established Arab-sponsored horse racing in the United States. As Marilyn and Alex work to solve the mystery, the clock ticks toward Hardin’s inauguration—and the fulfillment of the plan to unleash devastation upon America. Hamilton delivers a taut political thriller that moves with speed and agility. He serves up a broad, well-drawn cast of secondary characters as well, including the CIA and FBI directors, the lame-duck president and the killers hunting Marilyn and Alex. The what-if plot does require readers to accept that public and political sentiment will eventually lead to a constitutional amendment to allow foreign-born presidents; readers who can’t do so, however, may have difficulty suspending their disbelief.
A fast-paced thriller with an imaginative premise.