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The September sun soaked into Scott Ross's face so deeply that he could almost feel his skin browning. Yeah, baby, brush a little butter on me, and you'll cook up a nice golden, flaky crust. The leaves around him hadn't started to drop yet, and the breeze that rustled them smelled fresh and clean—not always a given in the nation's capital.
The moment of peace contrasted sharply with the insanity taking place around him. For Scott, as director of the counterterrorism division's Special Operations Group Bravo, life was always a little crazy. But whenever a credible tip came in on an impending attack, it was Katy bar the door.
Scott and his team had gotten the call less than twenty minutes after Malik Abdul-Tawwab walked into the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Fourth District station. Less than half an hour after that, Scott was in an interrogation room getting the scoop.
Malik Abdul-Tawwab was a young, second-generation American Muslim who had been frustrated with his life. With no work and no prospect of that situation meaningfully changing, he had become bitter toward the land of his birth. It wasn't long before he found himself drawn to a radical group that had formed within his mosque. The talk of jihad, threats of revenge, and promises of a better life for all Muslims struck a chord with him. Gradually what he once had considered his homeland transformed into their homeland.
Then, three weeks ago, this ten-person cell received a call informing them that it was time to put their talk into action. That night, the imam asked for a volunteer who was willing to become shahid, a martyr for the sake of Allah. All ten members of the group raised their hands, including Abdul-Tawwab. All were ready to kill; all were ready to die. However, only one was needed, and the one chosen was a seventeen-year-old named Taqi Abdur-Razzaq.
Although disappointed for himself, Abdul-Tawwab was happy for his friend and proud to be part of an operation that would strike terror into the corrupt hearts of the American public.
At least, he had been proud. Then the other attacks had started happening.
The first took place eight days ago. An American-born Muslim walked into the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, and opened fire with an assault weapon, killing eight and wounding twelve before an off-duty police officer managed to put him down with a .45 cal to the chest.
Four days after that, a young Islamic man on a helicopter tour over Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, pulled the pins on a couple of M67 grenades. According to witnesses on the ground, it looked like the pilot had yanked the chopper to the left just before the explosions. As a result, the wreckage crashed into a field rather than the intended crowd that had gathered to watch a Civil War reenactment. Even so, four were killed, and seventeen were wounded by the flying debris, including a five-year-old who was blinded by a severe head wound and a three-year-old who would never walk again.
That's when the reality of what Abdur-Razzaq was about to do set in. And the following day Malik Abdul-Tawwab walked into the police station. That was three days ago.
"Foxtrot One, this is Foxtrot Three. You still awake?" Gilly Posada asked through Scott's earpiece.
"Yeah, Foxtrot Three. Ready and raring to go."
"You sure? 'Cause I've got you in my scope, and you look like you're in happy, happy dreamland." Posada was one of two snipers Scott had positioned in the vicinity of this bench.
"I told you I'm awake. Now point that thing somewhere else before you put someone's eye out."
Gilly Posada was one of seven "Foxtrots" Scott had scattered near the reflecting pool that stretched between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The Foxtrot moniker itself was Scott's idea and had much less to do with the NATO phonetic alphabet than it did his favorite album by the band Genesis, whose 1981 Abacab Tour T-shirt he was currently sporting under a heavy, green army trench coat.
Alongside Posada was his spotter, Ted Hummel. Matt Logan was manning a second sniper rifle, with Carlos Guitiérrez spotting for him. And Kim Li and Steve Kasay were on a bench across the pool from Scott, battling away on a plastic chess set.
According to Abdul-Tawwab's story, he had seen a map of the planned attack that showed Abdur-Razzaq coming along the reflecting pool toward the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Once there, he would seek out a tour group, then detonate an explosive vest. That was plan A.
Abdul-Tawwab also claimed that they were having trouble putting the vest together, since none of them had done it before and they were mostly working off Internet sites. So if the vest turned out to be a no-go, plan B was to open up with an automatic weapon and take down as many people as possible—not quite as effective as the vest, but effective enough.
Back at SOG Bravo headquarters, Scott's team of analysts had been monitoring cameras at the four key entry points of the reflecting pool plaza. Each possible suspect was quickly scanned through facial recognition software. So far, though, no hits.
Patience was not a virtue that came naturally to Scott, and his antsiness was starting to burn off the groove he was getting from the sun. Come on, hajji wannabe, show yourself. I want to get home in time to put James to bed.
It was nearly two years since Scott had sustained multiple fractures of his leg during an operation to stop an electromagnetic pulse bomb. While in the hospital, the infatuation he had for his lead analyst, Tara Walsh, soon turned into mutual admiration and, finally, love. These two examples of opposites attracting were married eight months later.
Soon after, Tara discovered she was pregnant—a fact that inspired Scott to insist for the next six weeks that everyone at the office call him Captain Testosterone, much to Tara's chagrin. Then, six months ago today, little James Gerald Ross was born—James for Scott's former boss, killed in the line of duty, and Gerald for the late father of Scott's best friend, Riley Covington.
Seriously, if this waste of oxygen makes me miss my boy's—
"Foxtrot One, this is Base. I think we've got him," came the voice of analyst Evie Cline.
Scott fought hard not to react. "How sure are you?"
"I'd say 85 percent. This facial recognition software is crap."
"I need better than that. Where is he?"
"We just got the hit, and he's already about to pass you. Sorry, Foxy, but as I said, this facial recognition software is slower than—"
"Don't need a metaphor, just a description," Scott said, as, with a groan, he slowly spun his feet to the ground. As he did, a young African American man in a black jacket and a black cap turned quickly toward him. Scott stared at the ground and scratched his marriage-expanded belly.
"He's an African American male, black jacket, tan pants, black baseball cap."
Swell, he thought as he peripherally watched the suspect slide past. The young man was still watching him, so Scott loudly hawked up a large wad of phlegm and watched it slowly drop to the ground.
"Ewww," Evie said, along with at least three of the Foxtrots.
Scott got up and stretched, then casually started following Abdur-Razzaq. The easiest thing would have been to let Posada or Logan send a 7.62 full metal jacket into this fellow's cranium. However, he needed better than 85 percent to give that order.
Besides, I want to talk with this idiot.
"Foxtrot Six and Seven," Scott said softly to Li and Kasay, "start arguing over the chess game. I want him looking somewhere other than back at me."
Suddenly, a string of profanities echoed across the reflecting pool. Li was standing over Kasay and pointing at the board.
When the would-be terrorist's head was turned toward the ruckus, Scott quickened his pace, making up quite a bit of ground.
Now, Kasay flipped the board off the bench and stood up chest-to-chest with Li.
"Careful, boys, we don't want DC's finest stumbling in on us." Scott had purposely chosen not to inform the MPDC of the details of this operation as a protection against heroes and leaks—both of which could get a lot of people killed.
As they neared the end of the pool, the number of tourists began to grow. Scott quickened his pace. Abdur-Razzaq had just moved into a crowd at the base of the steps leading up to the memorial, when he turned around. His eyes locked onto Scott's, and Scott knew he was burned.
"Put your hands up," Scott commanded, quickly drawing his harnessed Bushmaster assault rifle from under his jacket. "Put up your hands! Now!"
But rather than surrendering, Abdur-Razzaq clenched his arm around the neck of one of the now-screaming onlookers and placed a pistol to her temple. "Drop your weapon, or I swear I'll blow her head off," Abdur-Razzaq yelled.
Part of Scott was relieved that this homegrown terrorist cell's apparent incompetence in all things explosive had kept him from being diced into small morsels. The other part was ready to kill this weasel.
"You drop your weapon," Scott yelled back for lack of a more creative option.
"You drop yours!"
"You drop yours!"
The voices of Li and Kasay joined in as they finally pushed their way through the fleeing mass of bodies. "Drop your weapon now!"
Instead, Abdur-Razzaq pushed the barrel of his pistol harder against his hostage's head. "I'm going to put a bullet in her, man! I swear I will! On three she's going to die! One! Two!"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Scott called out, moving his weapon out perpendicular to himself. This situation was way out of hand. "No one needs to die today."
Slowly, he lifted his rifle's harness over his head and laid the weapon on the ground. "See, weapon's down."
"Now those two," Abdur-Razzaq said, motioning toward Li and Kasay.
"Wrong-o, wingnut," Li answered. "How about I give you until three before I put 115 grains of lead into that empty brain cavity of yours?"
Still looking at Scott, Abdur-Razzaq answered, "Tell him to drop it! I'm not messing with you!" Sweat was pouring off the young man's face, and Scott could see scared determination in his eyes.
"Agent Li, hostile attitudes like yours don't fully meet with our government's new kinder, gentler policy toward whackedout terrorist nut jobs. Put your weapons down," Scott said, his voice growing firmer with the last sentence. "Now!"
Li and Kasay obeyed.
Turning back toward Abdur-Razzaq, Scott said, "So, the weapons are down. What now?"
"Now? Now I die a shahid, and I take you American pigs with me," he said, still clutching the woman tightly but pointing the gun at Scott.
"Wait, wait, wait," Scott said, lifting his hands up. "What do you mean 'you American pigs'? Dude, you're as American as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and government-owned motors! Don't be giving me 'you Americans.'"
"Shut your mouth! You don't know what you're talking about! I don't belong to this nation of infidels! I belong to the nation of Allah's warriors!"
"And I belong to the nation of tall, goateed fat guys," Scott said, trying to buy time, praying for Abdur-Razzaq to make a mistake and give him an opening. "Allah's warriors? Give me a break! I've seen your file, man. Your real name's Byron, for the love of—"
Scott felt the bullet strike his chest even before he realized Abdur-Razzaq had fired. As he fell backward, two sounds echoed in his ears—the report of Abdur-Razzaq's gun, and the thwip-pop of the head shot coming from one or both of his team's snipers.
Scott landed with a splash in eighteen inches of water. As he lay there groaning, two thoughts played in his mind—Thank God for the inventor of Kevlar and I'm going to be hurting for a good, long time.
Excerpted from INSIDE THREAT by JASON ELAM STEVE YOHN Copyright © 2011 by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted November 25, 2011
Posted October 30, 2011
Inside Threat is the last of four books in the Riley Covington Thriller series. Although I was sent this review copy without having read the previous novels in the series, I immensely enjoyed this book. The story centers around an all american football (and military hero) who is trying to navigate his way in the NFL after his high profile military career. The novel also centers on a few other main characters who have previously surrounded Riley and held a place in his life and especially one who still holds his heart. The book is an action packed suspense novel based around radical Islamists who are attempting to hold a national uprising "jihad" and end up doing it on Riley's turf and involve those he holds dear. This is an interesting read with details on Islam that were fascinating, taking place primarily in D.C. along with an ending that I did not expect. Without having read the previous novels to have an in depth understanding of the characters, I was still drawn into this story and really enjoyed it, and would recommend it.I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 5, 2011
There is just something about the 'Riley Covington' series that I just love, and I think that 'Inside Threat' is the best book in the series. It has suspense, action, drama, comedy, and a little romance - all of which meld together so well, that if asked, I couldn't put this book into just one genre. I have been waiting for over a year to read this book and let me tell you that it was definitely worth the wait! I know that when I get a new "Riley Covington" book in my hands, I am in for an edge-of-my-seat, heart-pounding time.
After 'Blackout', I wasn't sure how the authors could write a more chilling and gripping story, but they definitely did it with 'Inside Threat'. Once I started reading it, I just couldn't put this book down.
'Inside Threat' deals with home-grown terrorists and their plans to attack America. This book had me laughing, screaming, crying (and let me tell you I am not a person that cries easily), and it had my heart-racing. 'Inside Threat' is a book that will stick with me for awhile.
I have a feeling that this will be the final book in the series, and while it ends in a completely different way than I thought it would, this series was amazing. However, I wouldn't recommend this book to those who are very sensitive, because there are some very gruesome scenes. But, if you have already read the first three books, I am sure you don't need me to recommend this book to you - you, like me, were probably anxiously awaiting to read this book! To those who haven't, to fully appreciate this book, you must read the first three books in the series first.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers to review. I was not required to give a positive review, but only to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done***
Posted August 31, 2011
The fourth book in a series of thrillers by Elam and Yohn, Inside Threat opens with American hero, Riley Covington back on the football field, but wondering if he is where he belongs and trying to forget the woman he loves but can't have, Khadi Faroughi. Khadi too is questioning the direction of her own life and trying to forget Riley. Before either one of them can fully answer these questions, their lives are violently interrupted by a heinous attack that will put them both in jeopardy. Set against the backdrop of terrorism and our war against those who would do us harm, this is a story of faith and sacrifice, heroism and love, of God and His people that will leave you hoping that we really do have people like Riley Covington and his friends looking out for us in these dangerous times.
I had read the first book in the series (Monday Night Jihad), but not the other two (Blown Coverage and Black-Out). I found that while the books are definitely a series, I was able to enjoy Inside Threat even without reading the two books in between. As a football fan, I could really appreciate how much inside-the-huddle perspective Jason Elam (former placekicker for the Denver Broncos) brought to Riley Covington's character. The story moves from scene to scene, from watching Riley, to the efforts of his friends at the counterterrorism unit he was once a part of, to Khadi working security for a powerful U.S. senator, to the terrorists plotting the attack. The suspense builds rapidly and draws you in to the life and death decisions and split second timing of the team trying to stop the terrorists. One of my favorite things about this book is that the Christian faith of the believers in the story is portrayed with honesty and realism. They ask real questions and struggle with real issues, sometimes they even blow it and do the wrong thing. No cookie cutter, paper-doll caricatures of faith here, but real, earnest, fallible followers of Christ who live to serve Him as best they know how. Tyndale House Publishers has graciously provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of giving an honest review which is my own opinion.
Posted August 24, 2011
Inside Threat is not the style of book that I would normally read, but I thought it sounded interesting and decided to give it a try. It has a great story, great plot, and suprising ending. I am so glad that I chose this book! Riley Covington is a Christian, professional football player and former counterterrorism agent. He was in love with Khadi Faroughi, a Muslim woman, that he worked with on the counterterrorism team. Khadi becomes a hostage of a homegrown terrorist organization, and Riley comes to her rescue. Riley faces his feelings for her, and Khadi faces the truth about her faith and the one True God. This is a fast paced, action packed thriller that you will have a hard time putting down. I received this book free from the publisher in order to write an unbiased, honest review.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 12, 2011
This was a really great book! It is the 4rth book in the Riley Covington series. I actually haven't read any of the books before it, but honestly, I didn't feel like I was missing pieces. So even if this is the only book in the series that you have read, you'll be able to get everything that happens. The book starts out with Riley Covington and the problems that he is having in his football career and also clues you in on Riley's past romance with Khadi Faroughi, a Muslim woman who used to be his co-worker in the counter terrorism division of the government. Terrorists take over a cathedral in Washington DC and then it ultimately comes down to one person sacrificing them self for another.
This is a christian thriller, but its not preachy. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys fast paced Jason Bourne-esque books.
Tyndale provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review was not influenced by them and is my own opinion.
Posted August 3, 2011
In this final book, of the Riley Covington Thriller Series, America is under attack. After the suspicious death of the United State Senate Chaplain, a funeral is to be held, in the national Cathedral. Nothing out of the ordinary. Khadi Faroughi, Riley's Muslim crush, is simply doing her job protecting the photo-op hungry Senator Andrews. Until she gets a call. And 24 men rush into the National Cathedral with guns. And explosive vests. And knives. No pressure. as Congressman and civilian alike are slaughtered mercilessly, Riley has to do what it takes to save the hostages, even if it means risking his life.
I have come to love this series. Starting with Monday Night Jihad, this has been one well researched and beautifully woven-together story. I never had realized before how fragile life is, and the true cost of loving our enemies. I love how they put the place, date, and time above every chapter. It definitely helped to understand the book. I would recommend this series and this book specifically to ages 15+, though it really depends on the unique person. A thirteen year old may be able to cope with the gore a lot more easily than a sensitive 19 year old. The one thing I disliked was the ending. Though I cannot tell you all the details without spoiling it, I must say, I cried very very hard. Even with that said, I would still rate this book about a nine on a scale of one to ten.
P.S. The opinions expressed in this are my own, because I agreed to receive a book from Tyndale publishing in exchange for an honest review
Posted July 16, 2011
Riley Covington is back! In the 4th book of the series, Inside Threat, Jason Elam and Steve John again bring the exploits of our hero to life. Riley Covington is a professional football player, military veteran, and a Christian. Special Agent Khadi Faroughi is a Muslim. They are in love with each other but know that they have no future, because their respective faiths prohibit them from marriage. This is a book you will not want to put down. This fast paced action thriller is an emotional roller coaster, presenting three plot threads: the love story of Riley and Khadi, the battle between Islam and Christianity, and the story of Jesus Christ! The antagonist in this book is a home grown terrorist, and Muslims capture the National Cathedral during a funeral service taking many attendees as hostage. The book is an easy and fast read - you are hooked from the early chapters. The characters are believable, although a times they are presented a bit "cheesy", and the reader will be eagerly anticipating what will come next. A fun read, I would recommend to all. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 13, 2011
Inside Threat by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn is a good book. It is about a guy named Riley Covington. He is in love and trying to live the American dream of football. He is returning to the game as a linebacker for the Washington Warriors. He leaves the game because of love and because of his boss. I liked this book very much. Its plot is based around an attack on America by US born Islamic terrorist, I also must add that it scares me to because this story seems very possible. I like that there is romance in this book to go with the action. This book is really fast paced. I also liked that the writers of this story give you the time and date of each chapter. I was not aware of this series when I chose the book but it is the fourth book in a series. I was glad to find that while reading it I did not have to read the three preceding books to be able to enjoy this book. I do look forward to reading the three stories I have not read. I also hope there will be more Riley Covington stories to come in the future I really liked him. I give this book 4 stars. It was good. I also need to let you know that Tyndale House Publishers gave this book to me in exchange for my review. The opinions are my own. Really get this book you will be glad you did.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 12, 2011
I Also Recommend:
Riley Covington has always played by the rules. Now he's about to break every one. Riley Covington's comeback to football as the linebacker for Washington Warriors is cut short. First he gets in trouble with his boss and then he hears about a hostage situation involving Khadi Faroughi - the woman he loves. Scott Ross, Director of the Counter Terrorism Division's Special Operation Group Bravo and Riley's former boss, doesn't want Riley anywhere near the scene. But because it involves Khadi - and so many others - he goes anyway, with a dangerous plan to rescue them. Considering I've read the first 3 books in the 'Riley Covington Thriller' series (Monday Night Jihad, Blown Coverage, and Blackout), when I heard there was going to be a new addition, I eagerly anticipated reading 'Inside Threat'. One thing I really like about this thriller is how the beginning of every chapter tells the reader what time, date, and location that chapter takes place. When books don't provide that information, I sometimes will think 'How many days later is it since the last chapter', 'Where are the characters now' and so on. I recommend reading the first three books in this series, but I feel that even if you haven't read the rest of the series, you could still enjoy 'Inside Threat' because Jason Elam and Steve Yohn did a great job of filling in a lot of the background story. 'Inside Threat' starts out with just a hint of the suspense that's to come and when you get about half way through, that's when the main plot begins! I loved the story of redemption that was throughout the book. The reason I didn't give this 5 stars is because I found many moments in 'Inside Threat' very sad. I ended up getting teary-eyed a couple of times. There were also some gruesome scenes that I found a little disturbing. I would recommend 'Inside Threat' if you love reading thrillers, but be forewarned - this is not a typical thriller. *Much thanks to Tyndale for providing me a complimentary copy of 'Inside Threat' for my honest review!*Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 24, 2011
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Posted October 9, 2011
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Posted March 24, 2012
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Posted August 2, 2011
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