Book Review: Countdown to Jihad

Book Title: Countdown to Jihad
Author: Jeff Westmont
Book Format: Paperback
Pages: 338

Action… Action… Action… That is how I would describe this debut novel by Jeff Westmont. From the first couple pages to the very last pages of this thriller you are taken on a roller coaster of espionage, corruption, murder, nuclear threats, and then some. There isn’t a page in the book that isn’t action packed.

The story follows David Harrim, an American CIA operative, who is trying to thwart an impending attack on Christian, Jewish, and Muslim targets in Israel and Saudi Arabia which will inevitably ignite a world wide Jihad. Though and American, David was born to Muslim parents who divorced at a young age, his mother taking him to America as a child.

Westmont appears knowledgeable of the Middle East, though my own knowledge is quite limited, so I must assume he is accurate with both geography and cultural depictions. I was truly able to imagine I was right there in the story. I enjoy fast paced stories that don’t spend too much time explaining the scenery. Westmont wastes no time getting straight into action and never quits.

The beginning of the book was a bit awkward for me, however. The dialogue was very forced and felt like it was translated from Arabic. It really didn’t seem natural, which was strange, as the dialogue was between Americans. That was for the first chapter, but then things got much better and I quickly forgot any awkward feelings I had.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the book. I got this book from a First Reads giveaway and finished the book in only 5 days, which is sort of amazing for me. If you like action and suspense then you’ll enjoy this book. Not a bad first novel by Jeff Westmont.


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