Tuesday, January 22, 2013

David Lender's Novel Spotlights 1979 Siege/Occupation of Mosque in Mecca!

"As he sat down, Nibmar said to Ali, "We'll be leaving as
soon as our other two men return." Then to Khalid, "Do
with her what you wish, but please make certain she
doesn't survive until morning.
"Sasha fought back a wave of hopelessness by gritting
her teeth and summoning her hatred of Nibmar. She said,
"You're a traitor to Saudi Arabia, to your husband and to
your religion. No matter what happens you'll die a dried-up,
lonely old hag with--
"Nibmar sprang at her and slapped her again, then started
throwing wild punches. "Infidel whore! How dare you talk
to me about my religion!"

Arab Summer

By David Lender

Sasha Del Mira was sold at the age of 15 to a royal named Prince Yassar, the Finance and Economy Minister of Saudi Arabia as a concubine for his oldest son, Ibrahim. He came to be the loving father she had never had...

Saif Ibn Mohammed al-Aziz  was a recent university graduate when he met Sasha and they fell in love... but he could not quite get over her being a
whore, a concubine...

Much had happened since then...

One of the reasons Saif had fallen for Sasha was that she was not only beautiful but she acted independently to embrace and support her beliefs...

 He had learned and he had made his choices since then. His father had lost his business to the royals, the government who had seen when a business was profitable and created their own business, then threatened customers to buy from them, forcing the owners of the independent businesses to suffer.

"Saif walked across the courtyard,
half his men and the group still
 surrounding Qahtani following him,
and the other half
of his men taking positions near the main
gate or climbing the steps to position
themselves near the top of the walls of the
mosque overlooking Mecca. The throngs
of pilgrims in the courtyard parted and
cowered from him and his men. He entered
the main prayer hall,
then strode through it,
more pilgrims screaming in fear...
Saif was now actively leading the al-Mujari, a Muslim terrorist group. They were working toward the takeover of the government! The Shiek was now being tested, questioned, to prove he was the coming Mahdi. They would announce his coming during the Hajj!

But deep inside, Saif was merely playing a role. He idolized Alan Rickman and would take on parts that Rickman had played. Even more dangerous was that he believed Sasha would be...his leading  lady! And to get her back to Saudi, he had had her husband


Now she had lost her husband, the only man who she had really loved and had kept her safe. Sasha had deeply loved her husband, as he loved her--he was the only one with whom she felt safe, and  now he had been taken from her. So as she killed the man who had committed the murder, she asked why before he died. He was only too happy to whisper the name--Saif!

Almost immediately she retreated and spent time with her Swami
until she felt she could return to some type of life. But before that could truly happen, she must have revenge...

Surprisingly, the CIA was quite willing to discuss her options with her since they had already discovered that Saif and his group were
growing larger and were believed to have joined with other groups,
planning something big.

Going in undercover would
put her mostly on her own and, even though Yassar still considered her somewhat of a daughter, he may not be willing to welcome her into his home once again...

It was then that she admitted to her CIA handler that there had been more to the message from Saif:

"I want my Western Orchid [Sasha] by my side..."

Sasha went in to get close to his side...
   and use the knife or gun that would be hidden under her Abaya...

I enjoyed this book, learning more about countries I shall never have the opportunity to visit. There are a couple of scenes questionable that are questionable as to whether they could actually occur in reality, such as when Sasha is imprisoned, however, they were minor to the overall story line, which spotlighted, as the author included in his after-note, the actual occupation of Mecca's Mosque during the annual Hajj. The seige lasted two weeks and was ended by Saudi security forces, the Saudi National Guard and Army, as well as enlisting the aid of the GIGN unit of the French military. The efforts to retake the mosque included assaults through the underground catacombs, as illustrated in the exciting ending scenes of this novel.

If you enjoy fiction novels based upon actual historical events, I think you may find this one of interest...


David Lender writes thrillers set in the financial sector based on his over 25-year career as a Wall Street investment banker. He draws on an insider's knowledge from his career in mergers and acquisitions with Merrill Lynch, Rothschild and Bank of America for the international settings, obsessively driven personalities and real-world financial intrigues of his novels. His characters range from David Baldacci-like corporate power brokers to Elmore Leonard-esque misfits and scam artists. His plots reveal the egos and ruthlessness that motivate the players in the business world, as well as the inner workings of the most powerful of our financial institutions and corporations.
David began writing novels over ten years ago. At one point a friend sent his first novel to a prominent New York literary agent, whose reaction was, "Not bad for somebody who doesn't know what he's doing yet." She introduced David to a seasoned thriller editor and publisher who had edited Robert Ludlum's first nine thrillers; David spent the next 18 months working with him to learn his craft.
More background on David and his writing can be found at www.davidlender.net.

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