|Fifth Horseman, the (1980) [Novel]|
by Larry Collins Dominique Lapierre
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At the center of the book is the ultimate terrorist threat-the apocalyptic consequences of nuclear technology and fissionable materials passing into the hands of violent men and women with a cause, in a world where oil money, American complacency and ancient hatreds have created the right conditions for an act of blackmail that makes the biggest target of them all-New York City, with its wealth, its power and its 8,000,000 citizens-a hostage.
In Libya, Colonel Mummar al-Quaddafi has secretly, painstakingly succeeded, with the help of borrowed and stolen Western technology and his immense oil revenues, in constructing a three-megaton nuclear device.
His target is not Jerusalem, but New York, his aim is to hold the city ransom against the establishment of an autonomous Palestinian state. If he does not get his way, the bomb, smuggled into the country and hidden, will go off in theirty-six hours, killing millions of New Yorkers.
Blending history and fact, the authors take the reader through a day and a half of suspenseful, anguished terror, from the White House to the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan; from the elegant ministreal corrodors of power in Paris to the pickpockets' dens, discotheques, fences' warehouses and dingy lofts where the New York Police Department and the FBI, in a race against the clock, are despirately searching for clues; from the vast desert of Libya, where Qaddafi waits to signal the destruction of the city, to the cabinet meeting room in Jerusalem, where the Israeli government must make a final, agonizing, life-or-death decision...
The central figures of this rich, headline-making novel are presidents and ministers, street cops and FBI agents, terrorists nutured in a lifelong climate of hatred and violence, ordinary citizens who unexpectedly reach the highest levels of courage, all of them as real and as human as the people we read about every day, as the people we see around us, as ourselves, caught up in a nightmare that is not only plausable, but frighteningly likely-and perhaps even inevitable.