Keys to the Kingdom

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Vanguard Press, Jun 7, 2011 - Fiction - 304 pages
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Shortly after an explosive op-ed piece about the 9/11 investigation appears in the New York Times, its author, former Senator and Co-chair of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry Commission John Billington, is murdered near his Florida home.

Enter Tony Ramos, ex-Special Forces operative and former aide to Sen. Billington and currently a State Department intelligence analyst. Billington, having sensed the danger he faced, has left Ramos detailed instructions for an investigation into suspected Saudi complicity in 9/11. Ramos, in conjunction with Billington's daughter Laura, uncovers a shocking international conspiracy linking the Saudi Kingdom to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

Despite efforts to derail their investigation, whose scope encompasses Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Ramos and Laura discover that the Kingdom has recently provided bin Laden and al-Qaeda with three nuclear devices, two of which are successfully detonated by the terrorists overseas. But they were just a warm up to the grand finale. The third device, Ramos learns, will be detonated off the California coast.

Now Ramos and a team of Special Forces must race against time to prevent al-Qaeda from unleashing nuclear disaster on American shores, and beyond.


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(reviewed by Dani Alexis Ryskamp for
In "Keys to the Kingdom", Senator Bob Graham, a former member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and two-time Florida governor
, spins a tale of suspense. Pulling from its author’s years of experience in dealing with national security issues, it asks fictional questions that could be all too real.
"Keys to the Kingdom" opens just days before fictional Florida senator emeritus John Billington is murdered in a hit-and-run accident in his hometown. As a member of the 9/11 Inquiry Commission, Billington has just had an op-ed published in the New York Times in which he questions the “official” version of the events leading up to the tragedies of September 11, 2001 and calls for greater inquiry into the behaviors of certain foreign powers, including questionable financial transactions among several national powers and the leadership of Saudi Arabia. Billington’s death leaves behind a host of confused but determined characters who must carry on without his guidance, including his former aide and State Department intelligence analyst Tony Ramos and Billington’s eldest daughter, renowned political photographer Laura Billington. Before long, Ramos and others in the U.S. government discover that al-Qaeda, with help from Saudi-connected forces unknown, has obtained a live nuclear weapon—and has plans to detonate it in the Pacific waters off California.
As a former Washington political leader whose work dealt with national intelligence and the author of Intelligence Matters, a non-fiction work on national intelligence topics published in 2004, Senator Graham is in a unique position to include the sort of details that make political thrillers like Keys to the Kingdom exciting. Senator Graham does not disappoint. While his characters are less well-rounded than they could be, they are nevertheless believable individuals who find themselves facing the relentless force of events beyond their control and must dredge up the personal courage and necessary cooperation to prevent a national disaster. "Keys to the Kingdom" is a fast-paced read perfect for a long afternoon—the only hard part is putting it down.



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About the author (2011)

Senator Bob Graham is the former two-term Governor of Florida and he served eighteen years in the United States Senate. He was recently appointed by President Obama to co-chair the Bipartisan National Commission on the BP oil spill, and was also appointed by President Obama to Chair the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Bob Graham has also been a regular contributor to National Public Radio's Morning Edition, a frequent guest on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC News, and has written opinion editorials for the New York Times, Washington Post Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, and many other newspapers and magazines. Bob and his wife Adele reside in Miami Lakes, Florida.

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