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The Scorpion's Gateby Richard A. Clarke
Synopses & Reviews
From the noted counterterrorism expert and #1 bestselling author comes an astonishing fiction debut — a novel of terrorism, warring nations, and political treachery...that could happen tomorrow.
For three decades, Richard A. Clarke worked in the White House, State Department, and Pentagon. As adviser to four presidents, he traveled throughout the Middle East, visiting palaces, military bases, and intelligence centers, meeting rulers, soldiers, and spies. Some of what he found appeared in Against All Enemies. Much more of it appears here.
In an extraordinary geopolitical thriller filled with the kind of cutting-edge authenticity only someone on the inside could bring, Clarke takes readers just five years into the future, when forces both in the Middle East and the United States are at work to launch another war. But this time, it could be bigger. This time, it could be nuclear, and spread to Asia and beyond.
A coup has finally toppled the sheiks of Saudi Arabia, and put a determined but shaky Islamic government in its place. Everywhere, the scent of oil has begun to attract the scorpions, and among them are men in Washington and another capital ready to strike a devil's bargain to fundamentally realign the map of the Middle East. The plans are not the same, however — though some of the planners think they are. Hidden agendas, fierce ambition, conflicting loyalties, faulty intelligence, catastrophic miscalculation — soon the dominos will start to fall, and not even the efforts of a few dedicated men and women on the outside may be able to stop anunstoppable folly.
Blending exceptional realism with intricate plotting, razor-sharp suspense, and a remarkable cast of characters, The Scorpion's Gate will be one of the most talked-about novels of the year.
"It's 2010, and the newly established Republic of Islamyah — the former Saudi Arabia — is trying to destabilize Bahrain: the Diplomat Hotel has been bombed, and, as the first chapter of this intense debut thriller closes, the Crowne Plaza is 'pancaking.' Meanwhile, the deposed House of Saud is holed up in Houston; the Chinese are providing arms and training to Islamyah; the Iranians have the bomb. Secretary of Defense Henry Conrad thinks the time is ripe to invade Islamyah and seize its oil, for which the U.S. is locked in deadly competition with China. Cooler heads in the U.S. (and British) hierarchies are very, very alarmed. Sound familiar? Clarke's Against All Enemies delivered an apostate critique of the Bush administration's counterterrorism efforts, along with a vision of the future very much like today. The writing's nothing special; what is special is Clarke's passionate and deftly detailed version of the present, albeit one told in terms of its consequences. It's a brilliant conceit, and though it's sometimes drowned out by the din of various axes being ground ('It''s 68 degrees [in Washington]on January 28 and the White House still claims that global warming isn't a problem?'), the story is crowded with terrific double crosses, defections and deceptions. They're icing, though: Clarke's dramatic micro explanations of how things 'really' work — from a hand who served Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes — are the true story. This is the first novel to shift all the way from Clancy's Cold War to the present war on terror. Agent, Len Sherman. 350,000 first printing. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Why has Mr. Clarke turned to fiction as a venue for his arguments? No doubt it's a way to say...things about the Bush administration that he can't quite come out and say in an essay....It's also a way for Mr. Clarke to dramatize his arguments and try to reach a broader audience." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"If Clarke does nothing else but cause some readers to question our ludicrous reliance on unstable oil supplies....he will have done a service." Washington Post
"Short on blood and guts, yes, but long on thoughtful, prescient analysis of realignments of power." Kirkus Reviews
The insider whose warnings about terrorism on U.S. soil went unheeded-and whose book Against All Enemies rocketed to the top of bestseller lists-now presents his first novel: an all-too-believable story of politics, oil, espionage, and the earthshaking consequences that may lie at the end of the road ahead.
About the Author
Richard A. Clarke has served the past three presidents as special assistant to the president for global affairs, national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, and special adviser to the president for cybersecurity
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