While I’ve written The Messiah Complex as a conspiracy thriller, the idea emerged from studying an issue that should concern us all – faith-based terrorism which we, wrongly, tend to associate solely with Islamists. The fact is that some fundamentalist Christian sects are just as militant, just as ruthless, and present just as great a threat to a society already convinced that their way of life, their security, is under threat.
Dr Patrick Cameron, medical researcher and former undercover agent, is sent by the intelligence services to investigate a sudden, unprovoked, violent riot by a group of perfectly peaceful Muslim refugees.
John McLean, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has been forced to resign in disgrace. Few are aware that McLean, the éminence grise behind an extreme US fundamentalist church, believes that Christ has chosen him to lead a war against Islam, to establish Christianity as the one true global creed, “as it is written”.
His strategy, using advanced military technology, is to temporarily “brainwash” groups of innocent Muslim immigrants to mount brutal attacks on their places of work, on Christians and on their places of worship.
As the attacks spread across Europe and North America, the people, whipped along by radical Christian clerics, revolt against their governments, calling on their leaders to attack Islam or resign. A total breakdown of law and order is on the cards.
McLean and Cameron have “history”. When McLean hears that Cameron is the one sent to investigate the first riot, he immediately retaliates by having Cameron’s wife Angela, a practising Christian herself, kidnapped.
After a dramatic rescue operation, the security service chief, Commissioner Andy Fields, persuades Cameron to go undercover once more. Horrified by her experience, his wife asks to join him. Disguised as radical academics, they infiltrate McLean’s inner circle, working, successfully, to gain his trust.
McLean’s military aide, a retired US army general, is sure they are fakes. He has them placed under armed guard. By distracting a guard, they escape, meet up with Fields, and debrief to him. Against best advice, they return to McLean’s hotel, where they learn of plans for one final, climactic ‘Muslim’ atrocity – “Judgement Day”, the one they hope that will tip the world into war.
The Camerons have just two days to discover what’s involved, where and when it will take place.
Angela, who is an Oxford schoolteacher, learns that a party of her young students, many of them Muslim, have been ordered to go to London to be presented to the gathered leaders of the G8 countries.
Patrick Cameron’s task is a simple one: to prevent whatever atrocity is planned, apprehend the perpetrators, save countless lives, and prevent global chaos.
In a fast-paced narrative, we also meet Cristina, a professional assassin with a lust for life; Rowena, Cameron’s outrageous PA; Julian, his irresistible brilliant assistant; the Scary Red Boys, incompetent kidnappers; the Glamorous Grannies, not at all what they seem; the Last Resort Squad (sssh!); and the mysterious, murderous Armourer.