Imagine this: Three jihadist groups in Pakistan-Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Lahkar-e-Taiba (“LET”)-forge an alliance to steal a nuclear bomb from the Pakistani arsenal in order to destroy an American city. No country has more active terrorists than Pakistan, and few have more nuclear weapons. Fiction? This very scenario is at the heart of the latest thriller from Richard North Patterson, The Devil’s Light.
Patterson, in a recent article published just a couple of days ago, shares his opinion on the real threats facing the West as the various groups of terrorists begin to join forces against us.
“Al Qaeda has long been obsessed with nuclear weapons, and Pakistan has always been its focus. Just before 9/11, Bin Ladin met in Afghanistan with a Pakistani nuclear scientist and an engineer, drawing up plans for an Al Qaeda bomb. And after 9/11, Bin Laden announced Al Qaeda’s intention to kill four million Americans to ‘balance’ the Muslin deaths he attributes to the United States and Israel . . .”
Patterson continues, “We are certainly vulnerable to this. A Pakistani bomb carries enough punch to destroy New York, but can travel in a container the size of a coffin.” “There is more than a fair chance that Al Qaeda could turn the White House into the epicentre of a nuclear blast. A Strike against Washington D.C. or New York could be economically, politically, and psychologically shattering. Terrified of Al Qaeda, Americans would be thrown into a panic as they wait for the next city to disappear.”
This tense thriller makes a powerful plausible argument that history not only repeats the same mistakes, but also that the situation is worsened by stronger and more sophisticated weapons. The gripping story line is the best Patterson has written, as he sets up a brilliantly credible story of a terrorist plot that exploits the realities of our modern world.
The Devil’s Light is more than the provocative ruminations of a master storyteller. It is a powerful call to action-lest we find ourselves sifting through the radiated wreckage of a truth told too late.
Patterson did not start writing until he was 29 and already out of law school. He began his first book, The Lasko Tangent, as part of a creative writing class, and once published the novel won the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the category “Best First Mystery Novel in 1980.
His works include:
The Lasko Tangent (1979), The Outside Man (1981), Escape The Night (1983), Private Screening (1985), Degree of Guilt (1993), Caroline Masters (1995), Eyes of a Child (1995), The Final Judgment (1995), Silent Witness (1997), No Safe Place (1998), Dark Lady (1999), Protect and Defend (2000), Balance of Power (2003), Conviction (2005), Exile (2007), The Race (2007), Eclipse (2009), The Spire (2009), In the Name of Honor (2010), and The Devil’s Light (2011).