My third Sasha Del Mira thriller, Arab Summer is about an Arab Spring uprising in Saudi Arabia led by fundamentalist Shiite Muslims whose goal is to topple the Sunni Saudi regime and use its oil riches to hold the West hostage. It's the third installment of the Sasha Del Mira series. Sasha, the heroine of Trojan Horse and Sasha Returns, is a former concubine to the Saudi royal family who was recruited by the CIA as an informant, and later as an assassin.
The uprisings in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt that brought down Ben Ali, Qaddafi and Mubarak—dictators who brutally persecuted, repressed and murdered their citizens—started Arab Spring in 2011. Since then, over a dozen other Arab states witnessed at least some level of civil unrest challenging their governments, including the ongoing civil war in Syria between the al-Assad regime and opposition forces.
The darker side of the Arab Spring movement surfaced in the form of murderous acts by Islamic fundamentalists, not against repressive governments, but against innocents. ISIS grew out of disparate groups of armed fundamentalists, the vacuum created by the fall of some of the governments during Arab Spring, and the civil war in Syria.
Saudi Arabia is considered one of the most stable regimes in the Arab states, but the notion of an Arab Spring uprising there isn't so far-fetched. Protests, some with 70,000 participants, over anti-Shiite discrimination, labor rights, release of prisoners held without charge or trial, and for equal representation in key government offices began in Saudi Arabia in 2011 and continue today.
Imagine this: a group of disaffected Shiite Muslim extremists seizes the Grand Mosque in Mecca—Islam’s holiest site—during the final days of the Hajj, the annual Muslim holy pilgrimage, and takes thousands of hostages. Their leader says that among them is the Mahdi, the prophesied “Redeemer of Islam” who will drive out all infidels from holy Saudi soil and lead Muslims into a new era. They broadcast their demands from loudspeakers on the mosque’s minarets, including ceasing oil exports to the US and the expulsion of foreign civilians and military personnel from Saudi Arabia. Saudi forces try unsuccessfully for weeks to retake the mosque, sustaining heavy casualties. The Saudis ultimately enlist the help of foreign military forces to drive out the militants.
That actually happened in 1979.
In Arab Summer something like that does again. Saif Ibn Mohammed al-Aziz, a ruthless terrorist, leads a Muslim fundamentalist group bent on a bloody coup of the Saudi Arabian government via an Arab Spring uprising. As a prelude to his plan, he has Sasha Del Mira’s husband, Daniel, murdered. Sasha comes out of retirement to avenge Daniel’s death and to help Tom Goddard, her old mentor at the CIA, stop the plot, putting her face to face with Saif, her former ally—and lover.
I've just released the fourth installment in the series, On Home Soil, in which Sasha must stop an ISIS plot to bring its jihad to US soil. I hope you'll give all the Sasha Del Mira thrillers in the series a try.
The Sasha Del Mira Series (click on covers to buy on Amazon):
CIA assassin Sasha Del Mira and Tom Goddard, her CIA cohort, are involved in a steamy romance, and are questioning their motivation to continue in the spying game, when they’re thrust into an all-out effort to thwart ISIS’ plans to bring their jihad and terror to the U.S.
Former CIA spy Sasha Del Mira comes out of retirement to avenge her husband’s murder by Islamic terrorists and stop their Arab Spring uprising to topple the Saudi government.
A young Sasha Del Mira must stop multiple attempts to topple the Saudi regime by murdering a Saudi prince, who is like a father to her, and replacing him with one of his sons as a puppet of a Muslim terrorist group.
Daniel Youngblood, a world-weary investment banker falls in love with an exotic spy and then teams up with her to stop a Muslim terrorist plot to cripple the world’s oil capacity.