Crescent Fire, by David M. Salkin, is about a group of CIA operatives trying to stop a terrorist mission against Washington, D.C. The two main characters are agents Still and Hollahan, and they have been selected to try to stop a mission that they only know the name of: Crescent Fire. The plot goes between the men on the aircraft carrier -- Still and Hollahan among them -- the terrorists -- headed by Fadi Wazeeri and his brother, Kareem -- and the CIA agents back in the United States. The group on the aircraft carrier does not technically exist, so they can do anything they want, without U.S. jurisdiction. They have nicknamed themselves the "Men in Black" because they have no uniforms or ranks, just a black jumpsuit. The terrorists have acquired a Scud-B missile launcher and have loaded it with sarin nerve agent. They hid it in the belly of a modified oil tanker. They plan to launch it off of the coast and destroy Washington, D.C. The terrorist group is comprised of many different Islamic factions, including Al Qaeda, Hamas, and others. In the meantime, the men in black have captured Ibrahiim bin Abdul bin al-Bustan, the leader of the Harakat ul-Mujahidin terrorist group, and used drugs to get information of Crescent Fire. Now, they know that there is a missile with sarin headed for the eastern coast, and it is hidden in a ship out of a port in Syria. Unfortunately, they don't know what kind of ship, and all of their satellites in the Middle East are focused in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the CIA agents in the U.S. has a friend in the Israeli intelligence agency, and he gets her pictures from a Syrian port that show a Scud missile being loaded onto an oil tanker. They can see the second word is "King" and the first word ends with "-ent." Using this information, they intercept the Crescent King within minutes of them using the missile on the U.S. Using a spy plane with Still and Hollahan aboard it, they bomb the ship and it sinks, killing all of the crew. Since the organization broke U.S. laws, however, they were unable to be recognized for their bravery, and nobody ever knew about a missile headed for the U.S. except for the men in black, the CIA, and the President of the United States (POTUS).
Crescent Fire is a very good book. It starts off a bit slow, but once you get into it, it's hard to put it down. I've never read a book like it, so I can't really compare it to anything. This book is one-of-a-kind. I took every extra bit of time reading it. If it hadn't started out a bit slow, I probably would have finished it in a few days. The plot keeps moving, and it's good that it moves around from one group to another, keeping you on the edge. I really got scared when it seemed the terrorists would succeed in their plan. It really let me know just how secret these things are, that we might not even know if someone tried something like this. A nine out of ten in my books.
The book has strong language and some descriptions are disturbing.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania United States