“Duplicity,” the newest novel by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley, has a highly plausible plot that mixes domestic and global action. Readers will be reminded of the Benghazi-style attack on the U.S. embassy along with political deception, radical Islamic terrorists and ruthless D.C. staffers who scheme to manipulate the electorate during the presidential election.
The plot has the current president, Sally Allworth, deciding to take a tough stand on terrorism to gain votes by opening an American embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia. While the history and background in the area is provided, it does not slow down the action but actually enhances the story. The authors do not take the politically correct course as they depict the terrorists’ violent actions of decapitations, torture and dismemberment. Allworth’s opponent, Gov. Timothy Coolidge, challenges that she is playing politics with American lives, especially after the embassy is attacked and hostages are taken. This leaves CIA station chief Gunther Conner and Marine Capt. Brooke Grant, the military attaché, to plan a rescue.
Throughout the book the story shows how each main character’s agenda affects the circumstances: Connor wanting to prove that the different terrorist groups are actually headed by one person; Grant attempts to coordinate with the US military to attempt a rescue; Governor Coolidge uses the incident to cement his isolationist views; and President Allworth and her administration attempt to manipulate the event by going into damage control.
Gingrich explained that he got the idea for the story from the headlines as terrorism has become “a worldwide phenomenon and much more purposeful and technologically advanced than we give it credit for. One of the key terrorists in our novel is an American who has rejected Western civilization in favor of the radical Islamist effort to impose an alternative system of belief by force and terror tactics. One of the reasons I agreed to do contemporary modern history is to show the gap between the elite denial of reality and what is happening in the worldwide war with Islamic supremacists. I used the genre of a novel because it is the most effective way to tell a story.”