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CHRISTIAN LIFE IN LONDON | SEPTEMBER 2021 EDITION
BookMark - The Beirut Protocol
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Published July 2021



A presentation of latest Christian books to hit the stores


Title: The Beirut Protocol


Author: Joel C. Rosenberg

Genre: Fiction: Christian, Suspense, Military, Thrillers, Political

Publishing Date: March 2021

Availability in London: Creation Bookstore.

A Creation Bookstore Top 20? YES

Available in: Paperback

SUMMARY

From New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg! A game-changing peace treaty between Israel and the Saudis is nearly done. The secretary of state is headed to the region to seal the deal. And Special Agent Marcus Ryker is leading an advance trip along the Israel-Lebanon border, ahead of the secretary's arrival.

But when Ryker and his team are ambushed by Hezbollah forces, a nightmare scenario begins to unfold. The last thing the White House can afford is a new war in the Mideast that could derail the treaty and set the region ablaze. U.S. and Israeli forces are mobilizing to find the hostages and get them home, but Ryker knows the clock is ticking.

When Hezbollah realizes who they've captured, no amount of ransom will save them--they'll be transferred to Beirut and then to Tehran to be executed on live television.

In the fourth installment of Rosenberg's gripping new series, Marcus Ryker finds himself in the most dangerous situation he has ever faced--captured, brutalized, and dragged deep behind enemy lines.

Should he wait to be rescued? Or try to escape? How? And what if his colleagues are too wounded to run?

This is the CIA's most valuable operative as you have never seen him before.

Reader Reviews (Average of 4.5 Stars)

Josh Olds rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 2 out of 5 Stars
I’ve been a fan of the Marcus Ryker series from the beginning. It’s one of the best characters that Joel Rosenberg has created and the events—like much of his writing—has been eerily accurate. Joel’s grasp of Middle Eastern socio-politics and ability to turn that into an entertaining story is like no one else. Joel’s taken Ryker through Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Israel, heightening the stakes each time. This has been a hugely entertaining series and this one…I may end up in the minority, but this one falls flat.

The Beirut Protocol just doesn’t seem like the same type of novel as the previous books in the series. While the previous books dealt with end-of-the-world or at least huge-international-incident type of problems, The Beirut Protocol is mostly a straightforward story of capture and escape. Seriously, that’s the plot of the book. Ryker, Kailea, and a relative of the Israeli PM are captured by terrorists. Eventually, through a convoluted and unimpressive means, Ryker escapes. I mean, if I was captured by terrorists, I’d take an uneventful and unimpressive escape as well, but this is fiction and Rosenberg has set certain expectations. The scope and drama of the book just doesn’t hold up.

The result is that while the book is over four hundred pages, nothing really happens. There’s a lot of filler, including a bullet pointed page listing elements of Shiite eschatology. I’m used to Rosenberg pulling together multiple plot threads and perspectives, giving readers a thrill a minute, and having his finger on the pulse of Middle Eastern socio-politics. While the latter hasn’t changed, the first two are lacking. And it makes that latter point rather dry and uninteresting.

Rosenberg is four books into the series. He has a wealth of well-developed characters to draw from to complete his story, but none of them—Ryker included—advance forward in any meaningful way. As the bigger picture storyline begins to rely more on Shiite End Times theology—a subject of Rosenberg’s increasing fascination that he explores to tepid results in the 12th Imam trilogy—Rosenberg shifts to more ham-handed propaganda and outright lecture and exposition to tell his story.

In my review of The Jerusalem Assassin, I wrote that Rosenberg’s portrayal of radical Islam remains his weakest point. It comes across as a caricature—whether Rosenberg believes it to be so or not. It’s even more true in The Beirut Protocol. It comes across as thinly-veiled American/Israeli military propaganda. You can write from a certain viewpoint or conviction without it being propaganda. Rosenberg has made a career of it. But he falls short here with an unconvincing stereotype of Islam, a two-dimensional main character, and a shoestring plot.

It just doesn’t match up with even the other books in the series. The lack of internal cohesiveness in terms of characterization and plot really threw me out of the story. I’m probably being more critical of this book because I’ve had three books and over 1,200 pages to get to know the characters and cadence of the storyline. The Beirut Protocol just doesn’t align stylistically with the previous books in the series. Marcus Ryker deserves better.

Andreas Tornberg rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 5 out of 5 Stars
This is the fourth installment of the Marcus Ryker series and in this book Ryker faces his toughest challenge ever. I'm a big fan of Mr Rosenbergs work and no one writes better political thrillers than him. This book feels like I'm watching the news about the tense situation in the Middle East, it's so authentic and real. The characters in the book are well developed and Marcus Ryker is as good as any of the similar characters out there. This book is difficult to put down and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. If you are looking for a gripping, intense and action packed political thriller then this is a book for you. If you haven’t read the previous books about Ryker then I suggest you start with book one. I highly recommend this book.

Victoria Bylin rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 5 out of 5 Stars
I've read the entire Marcus Ryker series. Not my usual subgenre at all, but I've enjoyed every book :) Definitely fast-paced!

Lee Hudson rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 5 out of 5 Stars
I really enjoyed this installment of the Marcus Ryker series, as I have all of them. Very fresh and timely plot … even includes reality of Covid pandemic, not a significant part of plot at all. Story moves quickly, characters are believable ... for the most part. Marcus seems to always overcome overwhelming odds, but he is the hero ...

SteVen Hendricks rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 4 out of 5 Stars
The Marcus Ryker series by Joel C. Rosenberg is now one in my favorites action thriller series. Although The Beirut Protocol, the newest book in the series and my first to read, I have since purchased the three previous novels and will go back and read soon. I love the Marcus Ryker character, a federal agent with the US Diplomatic Security Service. And I can't say enough good things about the book, a political action thriller that leaves the reader feeling as though they are in the middle of all the action and on the edge of their seat the entire time reading this book. The most enjoyable aspect of this novel is its timeliness and relevance to today’s events. I personally enjoy learning about the history and the mindsets of the Jews and the Muslims in the Middle East – particularly along the Israel-Lebanon border. Rosenberg did an outstanding job in incorporating these proponents into this book. It read as if the storylines were ripped straight from the news headlines. The story plots were well-thought-out, well-developed characters, an intriguing climax, and a great cliffhanger at the end. This book was an exciting read for me and difficult to put down. Some may find it boring because of the Middle East political stuff, but I enjoyed it for a number of reasons, mostly because of Rosenberg’s writing but mainly because of the realism of the story. Well written, well researched and well presented, I recommend The Beirut Protocol. Thank you to #NetGalley and #TynedaleHouse Publishing for the digital ARC in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.

Dee Arr rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 5 out of 5 Stars
This was my introduction to both Joel C. Rosenberg and Marcus Ryker, so I had no preconceived notions nor any expectations of the quality of the characters and the story. I found the cover intriguing and hoped that the inside matter would have a similar impact.

Mr. Rosenberg wasted no time, and the book begins with Marcus and his team on the Israel-Lebanon border, under attack and soon overwhelmed. Hezbollah Deputy Commander Amin al-Masri had only hoped to capture a couple Israelis, and he was elated to discover his good fortune in capturing three Americans. His ultimate plan? Torturing the prisoners until they revealed information and then executing them. What he did not know was that not only did he have Marcus and his partner Kailea Curtis, the third captive was Yigal Mizrachi, the nephew of Israeli Prime Minister Reuvan Eitan.

The Prime Minister had other issues to deal with, including dealing with the fallout of an IDF officer initiating an old protocol used whenever there is a kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. This action caused an invasion into Lebanon, something not needed on the eve of a peace treaty between the Saudis and America.

Readers are confronted with a number of questions. Will al-Marsi discover the truth about his captives? Will he execute one or all of them, and what will the Americans do if that happens? Will war break out between Israel and Lebanon? And what happens to the peace treaty if it does? Chapters are short, and this propels a pace that is always moving, sometimes at a blistering speed.

Besides the main characters, there are others affected in different ways and they also have their effect on the tale. Mr. Rosenberg included a Cast of Characters in the beginning, and at first I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep track of them all. However, the author’s excellent descriptions and engaging dialogue helped define the characters and I never had an issue keeping them all straight.

The five-star element of the book is Mr. Rosenberg’s knowledge of the Middle East, and he generously injects it into the story. This careful crafting of the people and places involved creates a realism that never caused me to question the plot nor the motives of the people. Although the book comes in around 440 pages long, I was so caught up in the action that I finished it in two days. It’s been along time since I read a novel this involved, and it was a breath of fresh air. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a healthy mix of espionage, politics, and continuous action. Five stars.

Jessica Higgins rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 3 out of 5 Stars
Good overall story, but a little different than what I expected.

Marcus Ryker has had his fair share of action and adventure coupled with loss and heartache. He’s been a marine, secret service agent, CIA liaison, and diplomatic security special agent who has traveled to Russia, Korea, Israel, and all parts of the middle east. He’s frustrated attacks on the president and Israeli prime minister, participated in an assassination of a global world lead, and thwarted terroristic agendas. So, when he and his partner Kailea are out making rounds to prepare for the Secretary of State’s arrival and are ambushed the last thing you expect to happen is that he is captured by Hezbollah agents. If they figure out who they’ve captured, there is no way they will be ransomed or returned. They will be taken to Beirut and sold to the highest bidder of Ryker’s enemies! Can he pull off yet another escape and save his team? Or is this the end of Marcus Ryker?

This series has been loaded with action since the first book and this one kicks it off in the same style. Until they are captured? What???? How did this happen? Marcus always gets out with a narrow miss, but not this time. What ensues is torture, deprivation, and a less than expected storyline dealing with Hezbollah, Iran, and the Kairos terrorist organization. It’s really not what I expected to for this series or these characters. Plus, none of the characters really progress in development in this book. Everybody pretty much stays the same with a fast pace and short chapters to keep the story line moving. Overall, it just didn’t have the same feel to it that the previous books did and the faith element that readers have seen with Marcus becomes stagnant as well. Had this been the first book, I would have had a different opinion and could have seen the characters grow from there, but this one just fell a little flat. I’m not sure if this is the last book in the series, but I hope that there is one more mission to really hit the nail on the head.

Mark Easter rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 4 out of 5 Stars
Book 4 is the charm. Every negative critical element of my previous reviews of this series have been resolved in The Beirut Protocol. Ryker is developing nicely as a character and is completely believable as is the plot. A number of plot elements are satisfyingly resolved. The annoying rapid fire chapters have been tamed except where appropriate, but the pacing is still fast and engaging. The end of chapter hooks are effective.The prose is well done. As for the story, Ryker and friends get caught by a Hezbollah hostage taking operation, wholly by accident, while reconnoitering the northern border of Israel in advance of a planned visit from his ostensible boss, the Secretary of State. The timing on the world stage could not be worse as multiple triggers are pulled, and the Lebanon explodes sucking in players from Istanbul to Tehran and the Saudi Kingdom. Ryker is in the hands of the foremost terrorist organization in the Middle East. His prospects are diminishing by the minute. At President Clarke's direction, elements of the U.S. government scramble to find Ryker, Curtis, and the nephew of Israel's prime minister before they can be tortured, drained of information, publicly killed, and used for propaganda to further fuel the fire that was lit and the plans of Kairos. But, will it be too little too late?

Alik Tam rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 1 out of 5 Stars
I'd rate this closer to 1.5 stars. This book is a far cry from what the series used to be, which is very disappointing. Ryker books used to be really engaging, you never knew what was going to happen and was full of intrigue. This newest edition, however, has none of this and was predictable to the T.

Even if I were to look past this, the whole thing read as if it were a piece sponsored by the IDF and is nothing but propaganda. So much so that this book seemed more sponsored than any of the 20 books in the Gabriel Allon series - which literally follows the life of a Israeli Mossad agent. Who would have thought that were possible?

The Ryker series used to be so great because of the duality in them. Looking at global issues and events from 2 different perspectives, until both ends come together in the conclusion of the book. There used to be so much care put into building these stories and setting the stage of the book. Again, there is little to none of this seen in The Beirut Protocol. It is a glorified one-sided story which you know the ending to before you are done reading the introduction.

What used to be enthralling, thought-provoking, interesting and full of great research and opinion has become a watered down, predictable mess.

Andy Keith rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 4 out of 5 Stars
I am not a huge fan of political thrillers - I never have been. Too often I see and hear the news as it unfolds, often questioning what I am told and the whole process is usually exhausting to me. That's why I've never much enjoyed political thrillers - if I want to read about the intrigue of secret agents I'll simply turn on CNN and FOX and find the truth somewhere in the middle. However, this novel gripped me from the very beginning. Will this novel teach you to split the atom? No. Will you come away from this book enlightened with a renewed lease on life? Nope. Is it an entertaining and a page-turner? Very much yes. I read another review that said that it felt like the entire book was simply a "Marcus Ryker and his buddies have to get rescued and use all the resources at their disposal to overcome..." blah blah blah. To be honest, that's what I liked about it. The book wasn't overly complicated and many of the scenarios that play out in the book seem feasible. That's what I liked about it! I've recommended it to my dad and his friends who enjoy this kind of book and to the friends of mine who are avid readers and just want something to enjoy.

Kelly Underwood rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 5 out of 5 Stars
The Beirut Protocol drops readers right into the action from the start and things just get more intense from there. Marcus Ryker is back, and he and his team get kidnapped on the border of Hezbollah territory. Marcus is a wanted man, and Hezbollah isn’t known for treating their hostages well. The problem is that no one can find the taken team. It’s only a matter of time before Ryker’s true identity is discovered (not to mention the giant bounty on his head.)

The story is basically a giant man hunt for Ryker and his team. Joel C. Rosenberg knows how to build suspense. I had no idea how Ryker would make it out of this situation alive. Marcus Ryker is hands down one of the best action heroes. He seems unstoppable despite the never-ending life or death situation he faces in the name of national security.

The Beirut Protocol is my new favorite in the series, but the entire line-up is fantastic for fans of non-stop action. I suggest that readers start with book one first (The Kremlin Conspiracy), but you probably could jump in with this one and not be totally lost.

Susan Feaster rated “The Beirut Protocol:” a 5 out of 5 Stars
Joel C. Rosenberg is a masterful storyteller, and The Beirut Protocol is no exception. This is the 4th book in the Marcus Ryker series. It stands alone, although reading the previous books fills in the back story of Ryker’s life and previous missions.

A former Secret Service Agent, Ryker is now a clandestine CIA operative on an advance reconnaissance trip for the Secretary of State along the Israel-Lebanon border. He soon finds himself behind enemy lines when he and his team are captured by a rogue Hezbollah group.

This is typical Joel Rosenberg – action-packed and intense. Rosenberg knows the Middle East well, and it shows. This is a storyline that could have been wrapped from today’s headlines. Rosenberg is a master of this genre, and it is refreshing to read a military/political thriller without sex and profanity.

I am a long time fan of Rosenberg’s work and this one did not disappoint. Highly recommend!