Nearly four hundred men, women and children wake one morning to find their small town in the new Mexico desert surrounded by armed soldiers. Within hours it becomes apparent the soldiers intend to kill everyone, children included.
To emphasise the threat, the attackers put all of the children into one of town's churches - and dowse it with gasoline, ready to set it on fire if there is any attempt at armed assault.
The only people who can stand against them are a paunchy 54 year old deputy sheriff, the town whore and the local drunk.
Against this background the takeover of Jericho switches to the White House and desperate attempts by the President and her staff to extract the townspeople safely, against the odds.
Compounding their dilemma is the conviction by one of her advisers, a specialist in anti-terrorism that there is much more behind the attack on Jericho than the face-value demand by the attackers for $2 billion on diamonds and an F-14 Tomcat, fully armed with advanced technology and weapons systems, including ground to air and air to air missiles.
Jericho is a tense thriller that switches backwards and forwards from Washington Dc to New Mexico and eventually Florida. The violence, suspense - and mystery - is maintained until the final electrifying fifteen pages.
But Jericho is more than this: it is also an incisive look at Washington politics at a time of high crisis, written by an author who spent eight years covering the White House, and International politics in the final years of the Cold War.
Kennedy was present at all of the Reagan-Bush-Gorbachev summit meetings from the first at Reykjavik and accompanied both Jimmy Carter and George Bush Snr on Presidential flights as one of the Press Corps accompanying Air Force One. His detail on the political infighting at White House level is drawn from experience.
Jericho is set in the present day, but in its descriptions of the Mexico-US border, and the drug cartels he has drawn on considerable background trips with the US Border Patrol and police forces along the border fence.
About Daniel Kennedy
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Published July 21, 2012
Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.