In a number of incidents sure to shock the world, a group known as the Black Knights, who have declared Jihad, attack Britain in a well-planned and set up maneuver. On a chill morning just before noon, at landmarks throughout the area, a series of bombings break the silence of January 1, 2012. These include a newly commissioned Cruise ship, Majesty, carrying 5000 passengers and being observed by a large crowd at Mayflower Park; Ibrox Stadium; an underground station, carrying 80000, for singing and fireworks; St Paul’s Cathedral, holding Thanksgiving services; a similar event in Trafalgar Square; and Millennium stadium for the Welsh National Choir slated for 74,000 attendees. These atrocities result in 15,000 deaths and 20,000 more injuries.
The Prime Minister calls a meeting of the COBRA committee, to assess the situation and to set a plan to find those who were guilty of such heinous acts. He also chooses to set a General Election against the advice of his party. The P.M. wants action and needs the backing of the public.
Another group of members have broken away from the old parties and decided to form a new different party. It is felt that this would be what it would take to protect British citizens from further attack and to find those who had accomplished these horrible deeds. Francis Raike, considered to be one of the brightest sparks in government, is elected to be the head of the party by the other constituents.
They call themselves the Independents and have a radical platform, ready for change for Britain, and their place in the world. Some of those ideas consist of the repeal of the Human Rights Act, secession from the EU, continued UN membership, immigration policies and conscription to name a few. Many of these are very controversial — and yet because the public is looking for safety, the Independents win the election by a landslide. The new government is then assigned the brightest stars in each field and made ready to find those responsible.
As every lead is followed and the culprits found and arrested, two remain invisible. They are the most ruthless of killers with plans that make even the madness of 2012 look like child’s play. In addition, as the new Prime Minister, Francis Raike digs deeper into the quagmire, he puts himself and those he holds dearest in danger from this group killing in the name of Allah. Will he succeed in his plan or will he lose all he holds dear?
Jack Everett and David Coles have put together a story of nightmarish proportions. In a post 9/11 world where terror once again raises its head, they have written a story of Jihad, a war against the British by those most extreme. In 1/1/: Jihad – Britain, they have taken the extremism to an ultimate place. However, they have also found a hero, or a group of heroes, willing to challenge the status quo, willing to make changes unpopular with many to rebuild a stronger county.
They have shown a bleak and challenging situation and founded a group of characters, capable of bringing it home. Each of the different characters, including the Prime Minister, Francis Raike, have a boldness and strength needed in this time, and yet they have their human side, which shows up, often in awkward times and places. They are human and very likable, but also give you a solid comfort that they are there on the scene.
At the same time, they have a formidable foe, two men with their own twisted beliefs, but with the charisma to build an army of thugs, those who enjoyed murder for the act itself as well as those fanatics just following their belief.
I had difficulty at the beginning of the book. It started slow, but within the first few chapters, an understanding of the story emerged, building a pace that was then both quick and interesting. I would recommend this book for those interested in this genre, and while it is a novel of war, it is also a novel of people. I found it quite fascinating. This would be a very interesting book for a reading group or book club.