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BookMark - The Persian Gamble
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Published March 2019

A presentation of latest Christian books to hit the stores

Title: The Persian Gamble

Author: Joel C. Rosenberg

ISBN-10: 1496406184
ISBN-13: 9781496406187

Publishing Date: March 12, 2019

Availability in London: Creation Bookstore.

Available in: Paperback

Reviews courtesy of: Goodreads


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Kremlin Conspiracy comes this latest international thriller about a terrifying nuclear alliance among three world powers--Russia, Iran, and North Korea--and the man who must halt their deadly strategy.

Shot out of the air in enemy territory in the middle of the greatest international crisis since the end of the Cold War, former U.S. Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker finds himself facing an impossible task. Not only does he have to somehow elude detection and capture by Russian special forces, but he must convince his own government to grant safe harbor to the one man responsible for the global mayhem--Russian double agent and assassin Oleg Kraskin. While frantically negotiating with his contacts in the White House, Marcus learns that the unstable North Korean regime plans to use the international chaos as a smokescreen to sell nuclear weapons to Iran.

With the fate of the entire free world on the line, Marcus makes a deal with the U.S. government--he will go back to work as an international operative and track down the WMDs before they end up in the hands of those with the determination and the means to use them. Marcus and Oleg worked together once before to avert a world war. Can they now find a way to stop world destruction?

Matt gave “The Persian Gamble” 4 out of 5 Stars
Joel C. Rosenberg is back with another political thriller that is quite timely, knowing current geo-political situations. With Marcus Ryker inside Russia, he is on a mission to bring an agent planted inside the Russian Government to safety, where they can discuss much of what he has learned. However, with the recent assassination of the Russian President and head of the FSB, there is a really good chance that this mole (and Ryker) are behind the killings, making the manhunt to find them all the more intense.

When even the US Government is leery about helping, Ryker knows that he will have to reveal some of the intel to ensure their safe extraction from the edges of the Russian border region. It would seem that the Russians have made a secret military alliance with the North Koreans, which could help both sides in the event of aggression from other parts of the world. Other intel includes Russia’s plans to annex some of its former Soviet satellite countries, thereby beginning a war with NATO that is surely to devolve into a bloodbath. Add that to the news that the recently neutered Iranians have been covertly communicating with the North Koreans to obtain key pieces necessary to create a nuclear arsenal, and things could not be worse. With nuclear capabilities, the Iranians could be used against Israel, the Americans, and any others who seek to disrupt them.

As Ryker fights to help out however he can, he remembers his strong Christian ties and wrestles with the increased amount of violence that will soon take place to end these political nightmares. As he tries to justify it, Ryker is sent to Japan to prepare for another mission, covertly scouting out the North Korean warheads being shipped to their Iranian partners. With bodies piling up all around them, Ryker sees friends and foes alike lose their lives, which only tests his religious beliefs, forcing him to question his role in the entire affair. A well-plotted novel that always takes politics to a new level. Fans of Rosenberg will surely want to get their hands on this piece to devour the political banter, if nothing else.

I always enjoy a good Rosenberg novel, as he is not only on point about the political situation, but has an uncanny way of predicting the future with the plots of his stories. A few past novels have been spot-on with their predictions, leaving the reader with an eerie sense of ‘could it’ as they devour each new book. Marcus Ryker plays an interesting protagonist in this book, struggling to do his job and find a balance with his religious beliefs. Rosenberg does not inculcate the reader too much with this book, but there is mention of biblical scripture and Ryker ponders what it all means. He has lost his family, so there is little but his own life to ponder, making him an unpredictable character in the field. Many of the others around him prove highly entertaining as well, their beliefs and sentimentalities key to keeping the story on track. Rosenberg is masterful at his ability to create strong characters throughout the piece and keep them growing throughout. The plot was not only plausible but also highly in touch with what is going on in various political spheres. There is little chance that Rosenberg is completely off base with some of his ideas, though just how real they could turn out to be is sure to jolt some readers when the time comes.

The chapters were quick and kept the reader pushing forward, while never losing interest. One can only hope that there is more to come, be it in the series or with Rosenberg’s writing, as he is able to weave a tale like few others, I have seen in all my years of reading. Politically gritty with that softer Christian passivity when it suits the plot, this is an author about whom readers should take note, if they are not already familiar with his work.

Kudos, Mr. Rosenberg, for such a great new piece. I liked much about it, even if I try not to get too bogged down by the Christian aspects of your character development.

Cara Putman gave “The Persian Gamble” 4 out of 5 Stars
A gripping read. Lots of action. A wee bit too much introspection at times, but a really enjoyable thriller that takes Marcus Ryker on his next journey.

Kristine Morgan gave “The Persian Gamble” 5 out of 5 Stars
The Persian Gamble is the sequel to the Kremlin Conspiracy. Book 2 finds retired US Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker teamed up with Oleg Kraskin son in law of the Russian dictator. The two are on the run from both sides and have a limited amount of time to prevent a nuclear holocaust.

I found this book to be edge of my seat, no sleep exciting. The characters are strong and quite believable and the situations they get themselves into are fascinating. My only problem with this book is that I will have to wait a year to find out what happens next. So grab a mug of chai and settle in for a fantastic read!

Doreen gave “The Persian Gamble” 5 out of 5 Stars
This is a great book. It’s a political thriller that reads like a Jason Bourne novel. One of the chase scenes was epic and would be great in a movie. It shocked me to think that the events in this book are reality for some of the men and women who protect and defend our country. I can’t imagine living with that kind of stress, danger, and urgency. I’m thankful for them and for all the things I will never know about what they’ve done.

Marcus and his Russian counterpart, Oleg, are willing to do crazy things to try to prevent World War III. Their alliance, unlikely as it is, captures them in a deadly game of cat and mouse. There is a ton of action and suspense. It’s a great read.

This book would be best if read after reading “The Kremlin Conspiracy.” This book starts up right where that one ends. I would highly recommend this book. It’s a page turner.

Floyd gave “The Persian Gamble” 4 out of 5 Stars
I have enjoyed the three books I have read, The Persian Gamble being the latest. Markus Ryker is again the star protagonist in this international thriller that moves between Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Washington DC, along with some minor players. The book is an immediate successor to Rosenberg’s previous novel, The Kremlin Conspiracy, which concludes with Marcus and two conspirators leaving a small private jet over Northeastern Russia with unopened parachutes. And that is where we find Marcus and the others as this newest book opens. The author uses the first third of the book enough of the previous history to help the current reader find his place in the current story.

The middle third of the book describes a gripping and intriguing novel of espionage, tracking from the various countries mentioned earlier. The last part of the book focus on the attempt to capture the nuclear weapons purchased secretly and being transported for installation into a set of fully capable missiles aimed at western capitals around the world. A movie based on this third part of the book would surely be rated R — not suitable for children under the age of 18 - because of the level of violence.

The author does a good job of weaving Marcus’ faith into the story — both as it relates to himself and how it relates to those around him. It is not a simple faith, but it is real (well, as real as it can be in a novel).

For fans of Tom Clancy and Nick Thacker, Joel Rosenberg’s The Persian Gamble will be satisfying. Church libraries may or may not want to add this book to their collection — depending on their willingness include the violence found in the last third of the book on their shelves. As a pastor, I would be bothered; but I know several readers who would be less bothered than I.

Chris gave “The Persian Gamble” 3 out of 5 Stars
The landscape of the political thriller has seen a shift in 2018. Authors and the public in general are starting to view Russia as the main threat to the West rather than the Middle East. I’ve read several thrillers in 2018 that focus on the Russian menace and suspect that I will read a few more in 2019. Rosenberg seemed to be on the leading edge of the Russian trend with his March 2018 release of The Kremlin Conspiracy and in-deed always seems to be a bit prognosticative with his fiction. In The Persian Gamble, Rosenberg brings back former U.S. Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker (The Kremlin Conspiracy) and AGAIN he has to stop a potential nuclear war.

The Persian Gamble feels a bit repetitive, not only within the current landscape of the political thriller, but within Rosenberg’s own universe as well. The names have been changed, but the plot remains the same. Russia, North Korea, and Iran make up the baddies, while Ryker, Israel and the U.S. are on the side of good.

This is a Tyndale House publication, so it may appeal to the reader who wishes to avoid the serious violence, language and mayhem of some of Mr. Rosenberg's contemporaries in the genre but, at least with regards to story, I felt like Spymaster, Red War and Bloody Sunday (all 2018 publications) were better with somewhat similar plots.

Mr. Rosenberg has too many skins on the wall for me to seriously knock anything he’s written, but if anything, I felt like I’d read this story before. Not bad, but not a story that kept me reading into the early hours of morning.