"Mr. Pres--" Banner caught himself and, without a tinge of an apology, continued. "Senator, it's time to begin making your own history. The country is waiting for you. The world is awaiting you. It's time to begin our march into destiny. Are you ready, sir?"
Senator Lincoln Madison did not give a verbal response, but the look in his eyes said he was convinced. As far as he was concerned, it would take an act of God to wrest the presidency from him... As he emerged on stage, there was a deafening roar accompanied by whistles and catcalls. All became silent when the candidate raised his hand, his palm spread forward. The silence was so complete it would make the proverbial pin drop sound like a bomb going off. The messianic look on his face made even the most skeptical among the audience gape with reverence. This was as close as one could get to deifying a mortal with blaspheming...
Senator Lincoln Madison surveyed the silenced auditorium, fully aware of the power and control he had over them. His surveying gaze halted on the cherubic faces of two twelve year olds standing close to the stage. He remember them and smiled. Three days ago he had seen them--or two carbon copies of them--at a brief stop-over in New York. He was struck by their innocent beauty and angelic appearance. His entourage and body guards were obvious victims also, for they are parted like the Red Sea before Moses's rod as the two angelic forms glided forward bearing some of the most exquisite flowers they had seen in a long time. Not even the bodyguards made a single motion to stop them. Indeed, there was not the slightest reason for them to, since not even the slimmest semblance of a threat was evident. As they proffered their bouquets to the senator, the only thing that seemed missing was harp music.
As the senator took the offerings, he felt a slight pin prick, presumably by one of the pins holding the ribbons together. He briefly looked at the pinpricked finger, but otherwise ignored it under the dazzling smile of the two angels. At the recognition of the two angelic girls, the memory of three days ago came flooding back, and he wondered what they could be doing here in New Hampshire. The beatific smiles again flashed across the room, and he ignored the incident, confidently striding up to the microphone.
"Our time has come." The four words thundering across the auditorium electrified the crowd, generating shouts and applause, and even the marching band inadvisably struck up "Hail to the Chief." It took even the senator several minutes before he could quiet the crowd, only to have them even more roiled by his next comments.
"The White House is not within our grasp, it is in our grasp...in our grasp...in our grasp."
Twenty minutes into his speech the senator paused, his left hand raised high as he often did with both hands. He was silent for several seconds, his left hand still raised. Was he pausing for effect? many wondered. Slowly the senator's right hand traveled up to the left side of his chest and tightly gripped it. A wildly disbelieving look came into his eyes and stayed there. As the crowd gave a puzzled gasp, he slowly sank to his knees and, from there, rolled over onto his back. Paralysis was all around for several seconds. Then the trained bodyguards and secret service personnel went into action...Doctor Nathaniel Bender, with tears rolling down his cheek, announced in a voice barely above a whisper, "The senator is dead..."
Hijacking of the American Presidency: Terrorists in the White House
By Assad R. Wright
From the underbelly of the United States comes a strong, powerful group, splintered from a major religion, who vow they are doing God's work. They will do anything, kill anybody who gets in their way. Their plan: to put their own choice into the presidency and do what they claim is required by God... and use nuclear strikes "on nations believed to be the future enemy of America..."
Fortunately, the Religious Unit of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force of Homeland Security is quickly assigned to the case after the leading presidential nominee, Senator Lincoln Madison, died at a campaign event...
This is the second book in a new series surrounding the work of the Religious Unit of Homeland Security. I don't know whether there is a separate unit but it certainly makes sense inasmuch as much of terrorism is established on top of religious beliefs of one group or another.
The writing is excellent, the topics are timely, relevant to what is, or could be, happening within the United States. For myself, I went out to download the first in the series... and I highly recommend you consider this book if you enjoy political thrillers. Even if fictional, authors, in doing their background research, often provide this wonderful way to learn about topics that are important while enclosing them within a powerful thriller or mystery. This book is intriguing, yet revealing of what happens when religion is skewed by individuals within that group who interpret religious references in such ways to result in dangerous actions... sometimes in a fanatical fashion, but oftentimes merely in seeking power...
The characters are clearly drawn to differentiate those who follow both options... While the characters within the religious unit are exceptionally done--I appreciated that one of the top three agents did not belong to a specific religious group so that there is a counterbalance of dialogue which allows readers to participate in diverse points of views...
It certainly isn't hard getting into this story! We move directly into the election process where two individuals are top contenders for the presidency. Soon, one is dead; discovered to be murdered.
In order to ensure the party is not seen as being unable to deal with an emergency, the secondary contender is moved forward as the supported presidential candidate; a new vice-president candidate is quickly selected as his running mate, although not everybody, including the presidential candidate, agreed with that selection...
The thrilling part of the novel is in the chase of the Homeland Religious Unit to discover how the death of Senator Madison was done and then track who was behind it. In discovering the method of murder, readers learn of a potential "weapon" that has been discovered and improved to "schedule" deaths in advance...Think Nanotechnology... Yikes!
But the plot thickens, as they say, when those who were members of that splinter group start realizing exactly what that group is planning...They become targets for death soon after, but fortunately have provided needed information to the RU to work with... During this part of the story, there is some really creative, ingenious escape processes revealed of how Homeland Security deals with terrorists and they "disappear" victims...
Subvert the Constitution? Assassinate any who are in their way? Yes, indeed, because they believe they must achieve a divine mandate, no matter what it takes.
This is a novel that strikes to the very heart of America... Why do we look to the outside to consider terrorism. They are here in America, with easier access, many supporters, and with, as always, selfish leaders at the top who act on their own behalf even as they spout "divine mandate" to their followers...
This political thriller is awesome, stunning in concept and execution, and brilliant in details. The characters are believable in both those who are on the good side versus the bad...as well as the few who realize what a mess they'd gotten themselves into and now face their own assassination. An authentic alternative history story that boggles the imagination and takes readers where they just...might...not...want...to...go!
Yet is highly recommended for many reasons!
Beware of American Homegrown Terrorists
Born and raised in Jamaica, Assad R. Wright attended Mico Teachers College and the university of the West Indies in Jamaica, followed by graduate work at Long Island University and CUNY Graduate Center in New York. A retired teacher, the author is now the pastor of a local assembly in Miami. This is the sequel to his first book, The Ring the Bomb and the Word: The Face of the American Homegrown Terrorist.