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The Mahdi: A Novel
by Robert Cook

Published: 2024-03-31T00:0
Paperback : 368 pages
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Techno-Thriller Meets the Middle East

From IPPY gold medal winner Robert Cook comes the fourth installment in the Cooch series. With all the classic elements of a spy thriller—intrigue, violence, sex—The Mahdi is a narrative geopolitical battlefield where Islamic and Jewish ...

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Introduction

Techno-Thriller Meets the Middle East

From IPPY gold medal winner Robert Cook comes the fourth installment in the Cooch series. With all the classic elements of a spy thriller—intrigue, violence, sex—The Mahdi is a narrative geopolitical battlefield where Islamic and Jewish ideologies clash, seen through the lens of a modern, liberal Muslim. Raised in a blend of Bedouin tradition and Western education,Alex Cuchulain, Cooch, is a former US Marine, CIA operator, and entrepreneur. Partnered with Dr. Caitlin O’Connor, the self-described “smartest person in the world,” they make an unlikely yet formidable duo.

When Alex takes on a mission to reclaim stolen Bedouin land, he finds himself imprisoned and branded a criminal. Meanwhile, Caitlin faces her own dangers, becoming the target of an extremist plot. But the rules of warfare change forever when Caitlin condenses an electromagnetic pulse into shootable ammunition and deploys an AI chatbot–quantum computer that can use the internet to control secure Israeli communications and provide strategic intel. As tensions escalate, some begin to believe that Alex may actually be the Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer of Islam. But can he shoulder that mantle? And can technology and enlightened thinking prevail over entrenched dogma?

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Excerpt

Tangier
Friday
The Moroccan desert south of Tangier was hot and dry, as was usual at this time of year, with a wind stirring fine sand from the Sahara to the east and south. Shadows cast by the northern hills inched across a rock-encrusted sandscape toward a tented encampment, where a large group of men were seated in a circle between two large, ornate tents. Camels were tethered just beyond the circle, and an assortment of trucks were parked nearby. On the far side of the tents, women worked around several cooking fires, watching the men. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions from the Author:

1. was your initial impression of The Mahdi message as anti-Semitic? Did that impression change as you read the novel? If so, how?

2. Did the initial Kufdani mission of recovering or getting compensation for stolen Bedouin lands seem logical and reasonable. Why?

3. Did the narrative of the novel as seen through Bedouin American eyes resonate with you? Discuss.

4. Did the Thucydides Trap argument of fragile modernity in Israel's hegemony seem likely? Too soon? Much longer for impact?

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