Richard Thomsen is a CIA agent, sitting in a backstreet British bar in Cairo in 1962. He’s been sent away from Damascus after a failed operation, and no one in Cairo, especially the American ambassador, wants to have anything to do with him. An Egyptian comes into the bar and wants to give him an envelope of photographs. Thomsen refuses, and a short time later the Egyptian is found – beheaded.
Something is going on, and the more Thomsen tries to avoid it, the more ensnared he becomes. Captain Hassan Saleh of the Cairo Metropolitan Police suspects him of involvement in the beheading. Colonel Ali Rashid of Egyptian state security would like to see him dead. The American ambassador would like to see him out of the country. And a few former SS officers are hunting him.
Something is going on, all right, and it’s happening at an old British air base at Heliopolis, 15 miles south of Cairo. It may well change the Middle East forever. And it’s happening within a few short days – on Thursday, at noon. Elements of the Muslim Brotherhood and former Nazis have two targets in their sights – Tel Aviv and Haifa.
William Brown, author of Amongst My Enemies and several other books, has written one terrific, action-packed story in Thursday at Noon. While it’s set in 1962, it feels as contemporary as the protests in Tabriz Square and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. The passion, the politics, the explosive combination of personal ambition and religious fervor all sound straight out of today’s newspaper headlines.
The author uses historical figures like Gamel Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s president at the time, along with fictitious characters to create a riveting story if intrigue and duplicity. You’re never quite sure who’s going to betray whom next, or what new near-death experience Thomsen is going to have, and that fills the story with tension that won’t stop.
Brown deftly swirls all of this together into a tight, readable story. Thursday at Noon is one terrific read.
Review of Brown’s Amongst My Enemies