Sunday Jul 19, 2015

Countdown to Mecca / Michael Savage

eden with countdown to mecca
Eden with Countdown to Mecca

COUNTDOWN TO MECCA by Doctor Michael Savage

Print Length: 353 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (May 12, 2015)

A CAPTIVATING POLITICAL THRILLER

According to author, Michael Savage, Countdown to Mecca is the final chapter of the trilogy that began with Abuse of Power and A Time for War with hero Jack Hatfield saving the day. But, Savage is an inveterate writer who has been known to change his mind; he may still gift his readers with yet another Hatfield book in the series. It is no surprise that independent radio talk show host Hatfield who has been ostracized by the rabid progressives is modeled in some respects after Doctor Savage who is no stranger to wrangling the truth from deception.

THE STORY: ON THE EDGE OF REALITY

“A plane bound for Amman, Jordan goes down in the Caspian Sea. The crash yields no survivors—save the Russian mercenary who hijacked the flight—and a cask containing an agent of unprecedented destructive potential is missing from the wreckage. A carefully plotted terrorist attack has been put into motion, and the resulting chaos might be enough to push America toward another costly war.”

We initially learn that Countdown to Mecca is presumably about a plot to destroy Islam’s holy city during the Hajj—when millions of Muslims who can make their annual pilgrimage to their holy site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Then, as we get further into the ambitious cabal, we discover that the initial conspiracy involves a plot to destroy first Jerusalem, then Mecca. But, why? Such a strategy would cause confusion in attempting to determine the responsible party—infuriating Jews and Muslims alike. As with all intelligent page turners, people and events are not what they first seem. There are conspiracies within conspiracies, including an intricate web of deception among the conspirators.

THE EGREGIOUS RADICAL LEFT

Michael Savage’s dimwitted critics without having read Countdown to Mecca have blindly attacked the novel on the absurd conclusion that Savage is advocating the annihilation of Mecca. Fortunately, word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. As of this review, Countdown to Mecca has without any significant promotion (other than Savage reading passages from the novel on his radio show) sold over 40,000 hardcover copies, which is a feat in itself—yet The New York Times refuses to include the deserving novel on its bestseller list. The progressive (they are exactly the opposite) media is transparent to anyone who can still think for himself.

THE GAME IS AFOOT

“The one man who might be able to stop the attack is Jack Hatfield, a freelance reporter who has never shied away from controversy. After making a politically incorrect statement about Islamic extremists, he has been discredited as a journalist and left to pick up the pieces of his career. But when his half-brother Sammy calls him, saying that his neighbor Ana overheard something she shouldn’t have and now both their lives are in danger, Jack realizes he’s stumbled upon a conspiracy to destroy Mecca. Now he, and a group of likeminded friends on the fringes of the law, must uncover who is behind the plot and stop them—or else witness the collapse of the world into a war of mutually assured global destruction.”

With many dangers and obstacles before him, intrepid truth teller Jack Hatfield enters the fray to prevent a determined military cabal from unleashing hell. But, Jack can’t do it alone. Fortunately, he has the support of a colorful band of characters with special skill sets, including a marine turned professional clown, a trusted mercenary, a Russian escort on the lam, a patriotic Jewish mobster, an eccentric physicist, and a lovely FBI lover who is smart and resourceful.

Countdown to Mecca Jets quickly from San Francisco to various international locales: Russia, Riyadh, Egypt, Jerusalem, Saudi Arabia, and so on. Having lived in San Francisco, I especially appreciated Doctor Savage’s memorable descriptions of the City by the Bay—Coit Tower, the Mission District, Haight, Filbert Steps, and Montgomery Street to name a few settings.

Natural born storyteller Savage has an intuitive sense of plotting, pacing, place, and setting. He provides a minimalist number of words to establish a character or location, which in some respects reminds me of the best of Hemingway.

HUMOR / WIT / WEAPONS

Those who listen to the top-rated Savage Nation radio talk show already know that the author is direct, inventive, original, and concise, as he connects the dots. He brings those same talents to Countdown to Mecca—a novel populated with memorable characters whose journey we follow through each fast-paced chapter.

Michael Savage’s wit, humor, and imagery abounds, as one character remarks: “Ah!” he said as if seeing a Warhol at a flea market.

The author knows his weapons and their capabilities in the right hands … armed with a Steyr, some elite forces used M16 and AR15 variants. Doctor Savage knows his aircraft, too. “It’s an Evektor-Aeotechink, for short runways.” Adding to the story’s believability, including the inner workings of an intricate weapon of mass destruction, the author has his characters make good use of the latest technology in arms and communication.

In one passage, three-star General Thomas Brooks reflects upon the Dome of Rock, a 7th-century edifice located in Jerusalem. It enshrines the rock from which Muhammad is said to have ascended to heaven. Brooks notes the mindless dogma of fundamentalist terrorist muslims: “Superstition and ignorance were ridiculously hard to overcome.” Buddha made a similar observation over 2,000 years ago.

PATRIOT / TRAITOR / SOOTHSAYER / SORTIES

As I was reading Countdown to Mecca, I recalled the Greek legend of Cassandra. A popular version of her story is that Apollo (God of music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, plague, medicine, sun, light and knowledge—and I would add vengeful) bestowed upon her the power of prophecy as a godly gift to seduce her, but when she spurned his affections, he spat into her mouth cursing her as an oracle never to be believed. Brave heralds of the future are most often ridiculed or ignored. But, if one knows the lessons of the past, then one does not have to be Nostradamus or Cassandra to read the writing on the wall of what could come, as Doctor Savage does for us in Countdown to Mecca.

Another great and related story that came to mind was the film Seven Days in May (1964) made famous from the novel of the same name. The story is a thriller about a coup in the United States, although today it is nearer a reality. The story revolves on a group of military leaders plotting to overthrow a weak President that is putting the nation in danger. Countdown to Mecca flies sorties over the same hostile political terrain, as it delves into moral questions of patriotism, national security, preemptive strikes, and duty confronting weak leadership, dire situations that America faces today. Countdown to Meccas couldn’t be more relevant or well-timed.

ONE TRICK PONY—NOT

While Countdown to Mecca is fiction, it’s themes explode directly out of today’s volatile climate of insane political correctness, failed multiculturalism, and a radical leftist ideology intent on committing national suicide. Finding and exposing the truth is fraught with dangers, as Jack Hatfield and his comrades uncover throughout the novel that builds tension with each page where things are often not black or white. Are the conspirators in Countdown to Mecca patriots or enemies of the state?

Savage is not a one trick pony, as he engages his audience with different sides of the conspiratorial argument that involves the calculated morality of a preemptive strike upon a fanatical fundamentalist political ideology in the guise of a so-called religion that does not hide its bent on murdering the infidels toward its goal of world domination. The current U.S. administration under a failed president is unwilling to identify or even call the enemy by name. When a government infiltrated by traitors refuses to protect its citizens, then who will save the nation? These compelling issues also abound in Countdown to Mecca.

UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER / POLITICAL WILL

Jack Hatfield’s perilous trek to expose a plot by a handful of self-proclaimed patriots confronts ethical questions about survival, following orders, sacrifice, and killing the enemy while you can, and by any means necessary—which was America’s winning strategy when it had the political will to defeat Hitler and the ruthless suicidal ideologues of the Japanese Empire.

Many characters in Countdown to Mecca are not what they seem. Who is loyal and who is innocent, and who is hiding their true purpose? Savage also provides a Cast of characters page to more easily keep track of who is who in the novel.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT

At every turn, Jack Hatfield must tackle lies, deceptions, hardline nationalist conspirators, smooth-talking double agents, assassins, and other threats—all while risking his life and that of his fellows in arms if he is to save the day before somebody can stop him, or time runs out. The clock is ticking down on the threat of a third world war. Who can Jack Hatfield trust to stop the impending doom of Armageddon?

If you enjoyed the direct breathless pace and brisk character sidebars of 24 the TV series, then Savage’s novel will appeal to you. Set your clock to begin your own Countdown to Mecca—a dire harbinger in the guise of worthy entertainment. 

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