Leon de Winter
Fast-paced political thriller in the tradition of Tom Clancy and Frederic Forsyth
What if Osama Bin Laden were still alive and a lookalike had been gunned down in his place? This is the geopolitical game changer that ignites Leon de Winter’s novel Geronimo.
Abbottabad, Pakistan, 2011. ‘Usama’ Bin Laden, the world’s most feared terrorist, has the fate of the President of the United States in his hands. The information he has obtained will enable him to engineer the fall of the US government.
Tom Johnson, a former CIA agent whose marriage imploded after the death of his young daughter, is indirectly involved in a rogue mission to bring Bin Laden to justice: this plan, and that of his fellow servicemen, is not to follow implied U.S. instructions to ‘capture or kill’ but to take him alive.
At the base where he is stationed, Tom had struck up a friendship with an Afghan interpreter and awakened a passion for music in his friend’s young daughter Apana by introducing her to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. When the interpreter is killed during a mission, Tom takes Apana under his care but during a Taliban attack on the base, she is abducted. Desperate not to lose another daughter, Tom vows to do whatever it takes to get her back.
Mutilated by her Taliban abductors, Apana is cast out on to the streets of Abbottabad, where Jabbar, an enterprising young Pakistani, does his best to look out for her. Jabbar’s enquiring mind, will later put him in jeopardy.
One night, unable to sleep, Usama jumps on a beaten-up motorbike and heads through the tunnel under his hiding place to buy a pack of cigarettes. Out on the street he encounters a crippled beggar girl who seems to recognise him. Deter- mined not to risk discovery, he takes the girl back to his hiding place. It is Apana. Through her, Usama, Tom and Jabbar are now linked.
Geronimo takes its title from the code name for the operation to eliminate Bin Laden. It is a superb and compelling political thriller that packs a punch on many levels.