Golden Dawn

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Golden Dawn is a high-octane international thriller from a seasoned journalist and New York Times bestselling nonfiction author Thomas Kostigen.

Trailing his IRA bomber uncle, journalist Michael Shea stumbles onto the biggest story of his life: a plot to smuggle nuclear material into Iran. Discovered and marked for death, Shea flees the Iranian secret service. His only help comes from the beautiful mystic Neda Ghazali, a member of the ancient sect of the Golden Dawn. For ...

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Golden Dawn

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Golden Dawn is a high-octane international thriller from a seasoned journalist and New York Times bestselling nonfiction author Thomas Kostigen.

Trailing his IRA bomber uncle, journalist Michael Shea stumbles onto the biggest story of his life: a plot to smuggle nuclear material into Iran. Discovered and marked for death, Shea flees the Iranian secret service. His only help comes from the beautiful mystic Neda Ghazali, a member of the ancient sect of the Golden Dawn. For centuries, the sect has guarded a secret prophecy of the End Times--a prophecy that international terrorists and Iran's president are exploiting for their own gain.

Shea leaves a trail of bodies behind as he rushes to reveal the truth--before Neda's cataclysmic prophecy comes true.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kostigen bears witness to the adverse impact of wasteful environmental practices, then writes riveting passages about how our consuming lifestyles are causing monumental catastrophes...we need crash courses like this one, from knowledgeable authors who educate instead of preach.
Publishers Weekly
Journalist Kostigen’s first novel, a fast-moving thriller with a strong sense of place, suffers from too many plot elements: a brutal Irish terrorist, a brutal Chechen terrorist, the Second Coming of Christ, the Coming of the Mahdi, the end times, stolen nuclear material, a beautiful female in peril, a hero with a dark secret, all manner of sexual deviancy, Zoroastrianism, a madman president of Iran, and various religious evildoers. Michael Shea, British News’s star foreign correspondent, has been searching for years for his IRA bomber uncle, Sean O’Shaughnessy, whom he finds in Iran. Iranian president Mahmoud Talib has recruited O’Shaughnessy along with Chechen terrorist Alu Abramov as part of a plot to detonate a nuclear weapon and achieve world domination. Toward this end, Talib’s personal assassin, Iranian secret agent Zhubin, chases Shea and Shea’s love interest, Neda Ghazali, around the globe, leaving countless bodies in his wake. Agent: Susan Raihofer, David Black Agency. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Reporter Michael Shea's tracking his uncle, a former IRA bomb maker, and he's not surprised to find him in Iran with a Cechnyan rebel negotiating to build a trigger for a zealot's nuclear weapon. Kostigen's (The Green Book, 2007) debut fiction is headline-driven, with a touch of mysticism added. Shea's tracked his nefarious uncle to Lake Urmia near the Turkish border where the bomb maker's meeting with Mahmoud Talib, Iran's rogue president. Talib is convinced he is the Mahdi, an Islamic redeemer meant to save the world, but Talib needs an ancient Zoroastrian text to prove it. And a bomb to persuade the world. The nonstop action begins immediately when Shea is ambushed while spying on the clandestine meeting. Shea escapes and inadvertently takes refuge in an apartment where beautiful widow Neda Ghazali is imprisoned. Neda's assassinated archaeologist husband discovered the Zoroastrian text, the Zand-i Vohuman Yasht. Because Neda is a member of the Golden Dawn, a Zoroastrian sect charged with finding and protecting the true Mahdi, she's also in danger of being killed. Shea and Neda escape to the ancient village of Shiz, trailed by Zhubin, ruthless agent of SAVAMA, the Iranian Gestapo, but Zhubin's formidable skills are routinely matched by Shea's krav maga training. There are dead bodies left behind, friend and foe, as Kostigen moves the action from Iran to Turkey to Chechnya to Italy to Belfast, but there's time for Shea and Neda to end up in bed, where sex is transformed into the spiritual. The complicated back story links Talib to Mesbah Yavari, pederast leader of a fundamentalist seminary, imams and ayatollahs in Iran's Haghani Circle and the Assembly of Experts, all while also referencing Sufi mysticism and John Paul II and the Third Secret of Fatima. Kostigen's plain-Jane, reporter-style prose hits the pages slam-bang, with sometimes as few as three paragraphs to a chapter right up to a double-twist conclusion. Think The Da Vinci Code with religious fanatics eager to light off an atomic weapon.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765367525
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 7/30/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 1,211,598
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas M. Kostigen co-authored the New York Times bestseller The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving The Planet One Simple Step at a Time. A longtime journalist and former Bloomberg News editor, Kostigen has been reporting from natural wonders and war zones all over the world for almost two decades. Golden Dawn is his first novel.

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Read an Excerpt




The voice was as scratchy as the static on the telephone line that connected them across continents.

“I never make a mistake. I know it is him; your uncle. He’s working for us now.” The voice was rushed. The information came in staccato-like bursts.

British News’s star foreign correspondent Michael Shea gripped the phone in his hand tight and pressed it hard against his ear. The noise of the London newsroom that usually reminded him of why he liked to report from the field was lost, shut out. He was focused on the words coming through the phone. Shea was consumed by the possibility that for once he might be able to catch his uncle, Sean O’Shaughnessy, in the act, the act of terrorism.

“My uncle is in Chechnya?” Shea asked quickly, fearful the line would go dead.

He needed a location. He began to write things down. He’d get there, wherever his uncle was.

Dac, no. He’s in Iran. A meeting is set. I have the details. I can tell you…”




He was standing across the road. In plain sight. Seemingly unarmed. An easy target. After more than a decade and through the dozen countries he had been chased, Shea’s uncle now stood within a stone’s throw.

His informant had been right. “Lake Urmia. Northern Iran. Just over the Turkish border.”

Shea had sneaked into the country easily.

His uncle was standing next to one of the more powerful Chechen rebels, the commander, it was reported, who was directly responsible for the infamous Moscow subway bombings.

It was no secret within certain underground circles that Iran was supplying Chechen rebels with arms and training. But why remained something of a mystery. Moscow had been a staunch ally of Tehran in the face of international criticism over Iran’s nuclear power program. And as the world knew, Russians and Chechens were enemies.

Shea snapped another photograph of the Chechen commander, Alu Abramov, standing next to his uncle. It was difficult to see much of the Chechen’s skin. He had a full beard that curled down to his chest. His dark hair covered much of his forehead, too, touching down to meet his unibrow, and fell below his shoulders. His eyes looked black. The fur on his hooded parka blended in so much that Shea had to focus his lens on Abramov’s flat nose to find anything remotely light-colored on the Chechen’s face.

He pressed the shutter on his Canon PowerShot SX20 that he had switched off auto mode to make sure he got the shot. Click, the face. Click, Alu shaking hands with his uncle. Click, his uncle.

He and his uncle looked frighteningly alike, despite the twenty-year age difference. Shea, thirty-three, his uncle fifty-three years of age. They both had dark brown wavy hair. They both were six feet tall and about the same weight: one hundred eighty-five pounds. Solid. Muscular. Their strength also resided in their chiseled cheekbones, and their eyes. Their eyes were deep-set and smoky. They were tools that could stare a man down with a flash, or, with a twinkle, catch a woman’s fancy.

Shea zoomed in on his uncle’s. He tried to gauge them. Chariots to the soul, he thought.

His uncle’s eyes were searching.




Shea often wondered how two people who physically looked so alike could see the world so differently: Shea, a prominent correspondent for the leading British news service, and his uncle Sean, one of the most famous terrorists alive. One trying to enlighten the world, the other trying to light it afire.

He zoomed the lens back out and took another wide shot with his camera. Click—nothing but black. Shea took the camera away from his face to see what had blocked his view.

A twenty-four-vehicle motorcade had arrived in front of the single-story brownish stucco building that looked as if it dated back to the Ottoman Empire. Shea’s uncle and Abramov were standing in front of it, and a motorcade had pulled up. The black cars waving the Iranian flag and the black sunglasses of the security team that jumped out were giant clues to who had just arrived.

The Iranian president’s arrival was unexpected and just landed Shea the biggest story of his career. It also put him at unexpected and extreme risk.

Shea began to rub the back of his neck.




“Down!” Shea barked, slumping in his seat. Munjed, his cameraman, was seated next to him on the driver’s side. Shea pressed on Munjed’s shoulder, urging him to quickly duck low.

He and Munjed had been almost inseparable for the past three years, coworkers and best friends. An unlikely pairing—Munjed being a short, fat, and disheveled Palestinian whereas Shea was obsessively neat and well dressed—they covered each other’s butts. They had saved each other’s lives too many times to count—one cautioning when the other became careless. In the Middle East, danger, like a desert wind, was sudden. And it often took more than one set of senses to feel it, see it, or hear it.

Munjed did what he was told and crouched lower in his seat. “Wow, is that who I think it is?” he asked.

“’Tis. The president of Iran. In the flesh.”

Munjed whistled softly. “And here during Ramadan when he is supposed to be at home with his family praying. Tsk-tsk. What a bad Muslim.”

“I hear he is really a secret Jew,” Shea quipped.

Munjed laughed. “Don’t let him hear you say that.”

Shea thought, If he could hear me I’d say something much more offensive. Perhaps I’d ask him if he’s ever visited a concentration camp.

Shea’s mind sometimes wandered like this. He’d have entire conversations in his head.

Shea angled his camera lens so he could see across the street. The battered old Mercedes he and Munjed were in was parked no more than fifty yards away from the motorcade on the roadside. The Iranian president had stepped out of the back of his car and was standing on the road.

Shea and Munjed were vulnerable where they had parked. They had picked a location appropriate to spy on a clandestine meeting between two terrorists, not one that would hide them from a presidential security detail. And if they were found, they were as good as dead.

Munjed decided that he just couldn’t sit there without filming. Shea apparently was thinking the same thing. “Too bad we aren’t getting this,” he said to Munjed, lightly masking his request.

“You got it, boss. Let’s show the world.” This was something Munjed said whenever he and Shea uncovered a big story. And this was no doubt the biggest story they had ever uncovered: the president of the Iranian Republic clandestinely meeting with two very dangerous international villains. The world would demand to know why.

Shea had in mind a different demand: retribution.


Copyright © 2012 by Thomas M. Kostigen

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Highly recommended

    The action doesn't stop. A true page-turner. You must check it out!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013


    Is brought in. A women sits her down and begins clipping her hair. Sh puts in golden higligts and finishes. Syrens hair down falls in silky layers to her waist the golden hilghts catching light. The women then sets to work on her makeup. She makes Syren look flawless. Then she finally helps her up and slips her into a satin dress ending in her mid thigh. As if that wasnt enoutg the women gives her black heels helping her slid into them. Syren looks in the mirror and gasps not recongnizing herself.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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