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Monday 1 August 2022

‘In Terror’s Deadly Clasp’ by Jill Amadio

Published by Jill Amadio,
16 July 2021.

ISBN: 978-1-73265609-6 (PB)

In the months that followed the co-ordinated attacks on U.S. soil on September 11, 2001, a steady stream of women claimed to have been in relationships with the perpetrators.  So, when writer Victoria McAuley gets a call from a young woman who claims she had been married to one of the 9/11 terrorists she feels she’s heard this story before.  Despite her reservations, however, McAuley becomes more interested when she learns that the FBI believe Sofia Wainwright Jarrett’s allegations; she agrees to be Sofia’s ghost writer. 

Sofia explains that as a rebellious teenager, she left the modest home she shared with her mother, Erika, and brother, Jeff, to seek adventure in Portland, Oregon.  There she fell for a rich, handsome Saudi Arabian, Karim.  When her mother became concerned about the control he exerted over Sofia, the love-struck seventeen-year-old argued that this was simply a cultural difference. 

The couple married in haste, but a few months into their marriage Sofia sensed that Karim was becoming increasingly anti-American.  At one point Sofia and her mother discovered evidence that suggested Karim, or his friends and family, might be involved in subversive activity.  When Erika and a reluctant Sofia reported the information to the FBI, however, their concerns were dismissed.

Sofia’s relief was short-lived, and she was shattered when, barely two years into their marriage, Karim announced that he had begun divorce proceedings.  Within weeks the marriage was over, and Sofia returned to her mother’s home. 

Seven years since that painful event in April 1994, Sofia has slowly built a new life for herself.  Then, with millions around the world, she watches in horror as the events of that fateful Tuesday in 2001 are shown on TV footage.  Her past is about to return with a vengeance.

In Terror’s Deadly Clasp is a fictional story, based on real events as told to the author and the names of the characters are not those of the actual people involved.  Indeed, one of the most terrifying aspects of the narrative is the ease with which the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks were able to infiltrate American society and the authorities’ lacklustre response when informers tried to blow the whistle on the criminals involved.

Jill Amadio’s skills as a reporter are obvious as she relates this extraordinary tale.  The plot is revealed with insight and empathy as this “story-within-a-story” accelerates towards its devastating dénouement.   

Reviewer: Dot Marshall-Gent

Jill Amadio hails from Cornwall, U.K., like the character in her crime series. Amadio was a reporter in Spain, Colombia, Thailand, and the U.S.  She is a true crime author, ghosted a thriller, writes a column for Mystery People ezine, and freelances for My Cornwall magazine. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers Association UK.  She lives in Connecticut. USA.

Dot Marshall-Gent worked in the emergency services for twenty years first as a police officer, then as a paramedic and finally as a fire control officer before graduating from King’s College, London as a teacher of English in her mid-forties.  She completed a M.A. in Special and Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education, London and now teaches part-time and writes mainly about educational issues.  Dot sings jazz and country music and plays guitar, banjo and piano as well as being addicted to reading mystery and crime fiction.  

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