Five people want to change the world - and one man must pay the price...A fast-paced, brilliant thriller from the No. 1 bestselling author Robert Ludlum. In the Sultanate of Oman over two hundred hostages are being held at gunpoint. And the world watches helplessly as the madness begins. The spirit of the Mahdi is abroad, intent on complete financial and political domination. Evan Kendrick, a quiet Congressman, is an unlikely hero. But in his past is a violence he cannot forget. On the other side of the world, five very eccentric, very rich people are meeting. They are the Inheritors of Inver Brass. Their aim - to utterly transform the world. They seek a new saviour, an innocent messiah. Evan Kendrick is to be their unwilling victim...
A secret group called Inver Brass fed up with corruption at the highest political levels of Government decide that they need someone to run for Vice President. They decide that Evan Kendrick a freshman Congressman from a rural backwater of Colorado is their man. A year earliar he had gone to Oman to help in the release of 200+ American hostages and to bring down a man calling himself the Mahdi whom Kendrick believes, correctly, has funded the hostage takers and caused the deaths of virtually all his company staff some years previous. Inver Brass leak details of the successful Omani mission to the national press and so up Kendrick's profile with the American public. It is the start of their campaign to get him on the 'ticket'. However, another group, these backers of the present Vice President, want to stop Kendrick. So the battlelines are drawn.
Kendrick was a well thought out character as were most of the others involved but in the end I just felt that the second half of the book was not as strong as the first. That said, the idea that an untrained politician would just be dropped into an Arab country and solve a hostage situation that had baffled the spy services of many other countries took an almighty leap of imagination. However, to believe that Arab and Jewish agents would and could work together to solve terrorism was just too big of a leap for me. Also the idea that one man, admittedly an honest one, could solve all off democracy's problem was a bit of a stretch as well.In the end the second half of the book became an exercise in wishful thinking for me. Which was a real shame as it had the makings of a really good book.
The book was first published in 1988 so the plot was a little dated but that was only to be expected.Ultimately I felt that the ending was just too neat and that the book had been written with an eye on a movie deal as it tried to tick off all the boxes to make it appeal to a jingoistic American audience. A decent read but not a great one IMHO.
Colorado Congressman Evan Kendrick is trying to live out his term quietly when a political mole reveals his deepest secret: Kendrick was the anonymous hero who freed the hostages held by Arab terrorists in the American embassy in Masqat, and then silently disappeared. Now, brought into the light, Kendrick is a target, pursued by the terrorists he once outwitted. Together with the beautiful woman who saved his life, Kendrick enters a deadly arena where the only currency is blood, where frightened whispers speak of violence yet to come, and where the fate of the free world may ultimately rest in the powerful hands of a mysterious figure known only as the Mahdi.