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The Third Target by Joel Rosenberg shares the fictional story of New York Times journalist J.B. Collins and his “adventure” in the Middle East. Head reporter of foreign affairs in Israel and it’s neighboring countries, J.B. encounters multiple life threatening situations making the novel a thrilling story.

The third part of the Joel Rosenberg trilogy, multiple events threaten J.B. Collins and the U.S.

Early on in the novel J.B. gets a lead into his newest pursuit which entails the further movements of the rising group I.S.I.L. or better known as I.S.I.S. After stumbling across a rare opportunity to meet the second in command, J.B. travels to the depths of Syria and receives the chance to interview Jamal Ramzy and share part of ISIS’ next plans.

Part of ISIS plan was to share the their next move in order to scare the general public as fear is instrumental in terrorism. After surviving that encounter with ISIS members, J.B. gets another chance to interview the grand chief of ISIS, Abu Khalif. During the interview a break-out attempt occurs and J.B. is taken hostage.

J.B.’s capture is strategic and the leader of ISIS forces J.B. to write an article that outlines the rest of ISIS plans. Abu Khalif uses this article as a way to intimidate people around the world and inspire fear, also demanding respect from leaders around the world.

This is important because it gives the security forces of different nations the ability to foresee some events and work in ways to prevent them. The only problem is this only works for the events Abu Khalif revealed to J.B.

During the whole episode of action, Collins deals with a crisis within his family and he reunites with his older brother. His brother constantly attempts to bring Collin to Christ. This is a major dillema throughout the story as Collins encounters life threatening circumstances almost every day. Collin’s excuse is that he is not ready for such a commitment and feels rushed in his decision.

How this part of the story progresses keeps readers on edge and also worried for him, as he meets with high level ISIS leaders multiple times in the story.

This novel showed potential right from the beginning and I dove right into the story. One of the things Rosenberg does well in his writing is to always keep a mystery available in the back of his readers minds. This is one of his most powerful assets in his work.

The second book in the trilogy has Collins working with high level officials from different countries in order to take back something important.

One thing I believe changed could improve the story was when J.B. interviewed the head of ISIS. I think if the audience received information on the plans that the rest of the characters still didn’t know, it would have provided another layer of suspense.

This novel is for those who enjoy thriller stories and Tom Clancy style stories. The nice part about Rosenberg’s books is that they remain clean allowing for younger readers to enjoy similar style literature without the worry of mature content.

Other novels the reader might enjoy are the next parts in the series, The First Hostage, and the final part, Without Warning. Apart from this author nonfiction stories readers might enjoy are Once an Arafat Man, Son of Hamas and The Blood of Lambs.

All of these are stories about people in the Middle East that chose to leave their extremist groups and be advocates against their previous groups. I enjoyed theses stories as they kept me on my toes and unsure of the next action in the story.

Other books by Rosenberg include his first nonfictional piece, Epicenter. He also wrote a fictional book of a different time that readers might enjoy. The Auschwitz Escape takes readers back to the World War Two era.

The first book in the J.B. Collins trilogy, Without Warning can be purchased on Amazon. Paperback is available for $7.24,  or hardcover for $13.48. The second book, The First Hostage, can be purchased paperback for $7.40 or hardcover for $18.15. The Third target is available as paperback for $11.13 or hardcover for $13.30.

For another book review read: Fresno author shares inspirational story of hope, heartache and betrayal, For another review read: Spicy Uno: a new twist to an old favorite.

Andre Rieker can be reached via email.

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