A "lost" section of Nostradamus' quatrains in the hands of a narcissist steer current events and the United States into a spiral of destruction, deception, and terror in Joseph Badal's The Nostradamus Secret.
Badal pulls his audience in, and holds them captive until the last page is turned. The author builds on layers of interactions, decisions, and deceptions to reveal a tapestry of suspense in The Nostradamus Secret. His plausible course of events gives credibility to the plot; his characters are real and engaging, which adds integrity to the events as they unfold. The reader becomes entangled, unable turn away as the seemingly imminent conclusion unfolds.
The Nostradamus Secret takes us on a horrifying rollercoaster of greed and trickery. Full of action and adventure, the reader is drawn through myriad emotions. I found myself at the edge of my seat and couldn't wait to see what happened next. I look forward to reading Joseph Badal's other works.
Reviewed by Sandra Miller Linhart, MWSA Reviewer
The Nostradamus Secret, the 3rd book in Joseph Badal’s Danforth Saga, is an 118,000-word “secret history” thriller based on the lost quatrains of Michele Nostradamus. These quatrains from Nostradamus’s 7th of 10 centuries (writings of 100 quatrains) have never been found. The author weaves their discovery into the novel and creates the missing quatrains.
The Nostradamus Secret brings Bob Danforth back to the CIA from retirement after his successor there is murdered. That murder is apparently perpetrated by the same group behind the assassinations of hundreds of American celebrities, politicians, and business people, as well as hundreds of ordinary American citizens. These killings occur at the same time that Iran becomes ever more threatening to the United States. What Danforth does not know is that a world-class-wealthy Iranian is behind both the assassinations and Iran’s war plans — all because he believes his rise to power was preordained in the writings of Michele Nostradamus’s “lost quatrains,” which he secretly possesses.
In the midst of an assassination campaign that targets American icons of industry, banking, sports, politics, and entertainment, the CIA Special Operations boss is murdered. The Agency brings Bob Danforth, the former Special Ops boss, out of retirement to identify the mastermind behind the assassinations. But Danforth’s assignment proves more complicated when Iran becomes intransigent about backing away from its nuclear weapons program, and when an Iranian missile site fires nuclear missiles at Israel and at American troops in the Middle East. The Iranian government claims it did not authorize the attacks.
A shadowy group named The Sons of Ali takes credit for the assassinations. But neither the CIA nor the FBI can identify the organization’s leader. In the meantime, the U.S. President responds to the Iranian missile attacks by first ordering the destruction of the missile site that launched the missiles, and then declaring war on Iran. The President orders an invasion of the country to overthrow the Islamic government and install in its place a democratic government headed by an Iranian sponsored by the U.S. Vice President and senior officers in the CIA and the State Department. What the President of the United States doesn’t realize is the man he is about to put in power in Iran, Ali Reza Naimzadeh, is the leader of The Sons of Ali, is responsible for the missile attacks, and is the owner of Nostradamus’s lost quatrains.
Naimzadeh is a world-class- wealthy individual who believes his destiny is to rule Iran, to take over the Middle East oil fields, and then to dominate world events. He has arrived at this belief because of the writings of Michele Nostradamus, the 16th Century visionary who prophesied in quatrains from his Seventh Centurie that a leader would rise from Persia and aspire to world domination. (The historical footnote here is that, in actuality, the 43rd-100th quatrains of Nostradamus’s 7th Centurie have never been found. Scholars believe these verses were either lost or destroyed. The author finds them and uses them in the story). These “lost” quatrains have been in the hands of the Naimzadeh family since the late 1500s.
Danforth comes to the conclusion that whoever is behind the assassinations wants to destabilize the U.S. economy and the U.S. government. Then he realizes there may be a traitor in the CIA working with The Sons of Ali, and this traitor has a highly-placed State Department ally who is promoting Naimzadeh as the next President of Iran.
Naimzadeh’s spies make him aware of Danforth’s role. He attempts to neutralize Danforth by sending an assassin to threaten the lives of Danforth’s son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.
The U.S. launches an invasion of Iran, including sending Delta Force teams into the country. Among these units is Danforth’s son, Michael, who has been ordered to protect Naimzadeh until his installation as President of Iran. The invasion is successful and Naimzadeh is about to be installed as the country’s leader when Danforth realizes the web of deceit orchestrated by Naimzadeh and his allies could result in the deaths of tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and in Naimzadeh’s control of Middle East oil and gas reserves.
Danforth uncovers the participants in Naimzadeh’s plot – including the U.S. Vice President – and foils it. He discovers Naimzadeh has interpreted some of Nostradamus’s writings as prophesying his success, but only if the U.S. President is eliminated. Assassins target the President, but are defeated.
The United States assists the new Iranian government, which confiscates Naimzadeh’s fortune. Naimzadeh is arrested by Iran and put on trial.
The U.S. President directs Bob Danforth to deliver to Naimzadeh, who is in an Iranian jail cell awaiting trial, a copy of several of Nostradamus’s quatrains and verses from the Book of Jeremiah of the Bible that appear to predict the downfall of a Persian tyrant.
The President asks Danforth to take a high level position at the CIA, but Danforth realizes sitting behind a desk would be a fate worse than death, and that his wife can no longer handle his performing field assignments. He decides to retire again and spend more time with the family he has ignored for too long.
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Number of Pages: 468