Nikole Hahn's Reviews > The Twelfth Imam

The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. Rosenberg
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Oct 25, 10

Read in October, 2010

“When the apartment was quiet, Najjar would stare out the window into the moonlight, meditating on the Ayatollah’s words and on his fiery insistence that a Muslim’s duty was to perform jihad—holy war—against the infidels. It wasn’t exactly the stuff of childhood dreams, but it stirred something deep within Najjar’s heart.

“Surely those who believe, those who wage jihad in God’s cause—they are the ones who may hope for the mercy of God,” the Ayatollah would declare, citing Sura 2:218 from the Qur’an. Jews and Christians are the ones whom God has cursed, he would explain, saying the Qur’an taught that they “shall either be executed, or crucified, or have their hands and feet cut off alternately, or be banished from the land.”” – Pg. 32

From Part One to Part Three, Joel Rosenberg fills my head with facts, Qur’an quotes and the horrific reality of Iran’s possibilities in this fictional account of the foretold coming of the Twelfth Imam. At first, I am learning about The Harper’s and The Shirazis in Iran, circa 1979 when the American Embassy was taken over by Iranian Revolutionaries. Fast forward to the main character, born from The Shirazis who now live in Canada. The Harper’s and The Shirazis are good friends. We are introduced to The Shirazis’ son, David.

David gets his first chance to go on a guys camping trip with his dad. He was sick the year before and could not accompany his father. Finally, David is given permission to attend. The catalyst, the daughter of his father’s friend, Marseille, appears. Innocent teenage love disintegrates upon the dawn of 9/11 when Marseille’s mom is killed in the towers. David begins to flounder in school.

It is in Juvenile Hall that David meets Jack Zalinsky, the CIA man who helped get his father and mother along with The Harper’s out of Iran. David is inducted reluctantly at first into the CIA. From that point, he lives two lives as he matures into an adult. Joel masterfully tells the tale of how difficult it is for David to lie to his parents and live a double life. David is very good at his job. He is an effective agent. For a moment, Marseille is forgotten, but not totally. He meets his NOC, a female agent named Eva, and he thinks he may have a chance romantically with this woman.

A visit to his parents house brings less than ideal complications to his life. Plopped right in the middle of his life is also a mysterious letter with a return postmark of Portland, Oregon. Eva falls as easily from his heart as a leaf from a tree. His struggles intensify as the Middle East stirs a violent storm. From the dust of this violent storm rises a mysterious Twelfth Imam who heals and does all the things Jesus has done in the Bible. Muslims get excited. David’s interest turns to The Twelfth Imam. Jesus also appears to Najjar, the scientist.

Joel’s story has many main characters both in Iran and America. Joel has made the Middle East story and End Times philosophy the main plot and the characters and their stories of Salvation the subplot. It is fascinating to follow along and learn about Iran’s beginnings and how terrifyingly close this story is to becoming our reality. Thus, follows a story of a war between God and Satan. I realized when I read the last page that Joel is not done with David and Marseille. There’s another book. I’m anticipating it.

Book provided by the publisher
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