Alternate History Political Thriller Novel image

One power-hungry vice president. One bad batch of shady intelligence. One sinister plot to destroy Western civilization.

It’s morning in America.

Mark Spivak’s relentlessly gripping political thriller The American Crusade renders a dark and often disturbing alternate picture of our nation’s recent history. By holding up the dingy mirror of memory to the attitudes, politics, and deep-seated fears that shaped the Bush years and beyond, Spivak tears aside the facade of patriotism and exposes the corrupt heart of the military-industrial complex.

An Alternate History Bush-Era Political Thriller Novel

When a group of radical Islamic terrorists crash a jet airliner into the Mall of America, power-hungry Vice President Robert Hornsby seizes control of the United States government, becoming the single most powerful man on the planet in one swift stroke. Now, with the aid of his ineffectual President, his conscience-stricken Secretary of Defense, and foppish faith leader with secrets of his own to conceal, Hornsby begins a tyrannical campaign against the forces of evil—and against anybody brave enough to oppose him.

But as media scrutiny of the administration’s reckless actions intensifies, Hornsby sees his one-man war on terror starting to unravel—and steers the country he loves ever-closer to another unspeakable tragedy.

Mark Spivak’s satirical eye scrutinizes all the major players of the Bush era of politics, giving readers rare insight into the psyches of some of the most powerful people on the planet. Fans of political dramas like The Castle by Jason Pinter, The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, House of Cards by Michael Dobbs, and the Aaron Sorkin–penned television drama The West Wing will love this book.

And now, TCK Publishing is proud to present a sneak preview of The American Crusade. Read on and enjoy!

An Exclusive Book Preview

Read on for an excerpt from Mark Spivak’s The American Crusade:

Very few people outside the inner circle understood exactly how close the government came to unraveling that day.

The situation in Minnesota was a Chinese fire drill. It started with Minneapolis air traffic control, who tracked the plane going off course. But since the controllers had no direct channels of communication with the federal government, the incident was unknown to Washington almost until the exact moment the aircraft nosedived into the Mall. A loop of videotape replayed endlessly on the evening news showed mothers carrying small children with their clothes on fire, swatting them in a desperate attempt to put out the flames. There was no coordination among the local police and fire and rescue teams, no links between Bloomington law enforcement and the Feds. The rugged, rural Minnesota landscape made it impossible for enough fire trucks to reach the scene on time, and the local TV station had their hands full—it was the Hindenburg on steroids.

Sitting in the White House Situation Room that day, Vice President Hornsby thought he was witnessing the perfect storm. All those years we thought it would end with a nuclear launch from the Soviets, he thought bitterly. Now I have to watch a bunch of jokers in turbans destroy the world.

FBI Director Edward Gambelli entered the room and approached the head of the table. “Most of the planes are out of the sky, sir. The airspace is almost secure.”

“What do you mean, almost? For shit’s sake.” The vice president gestured toward the electronic map on the wall, where aircraft were represented by red dots. “That’s a lot of dots up there, Eddie.”

“They’re mostly private planes, sir. Joyriders out for a spin. We’re contacting the ones that have radar. The fighters will intercept the others and escort them down.”

“What about the other plane?”

“It’s still heading for Washington, sir. Just passed Wilmington.”

“How long before it gets into rural airspace?”

“Five minutes, sir. Ten at the most.”

“What’s happening on board?”

“We’ve received radio and cell phone communications. The passengers are still fighting. They’ve overcome two of the hijackers, and they’re trying to get into the cockpit.”

Hornsby glanced to his right, to the chair occupied by his protégé, CIA Director Admiral Mike McCardle. McCardle nodded.

“When it gets over unoccupied land,” Hornsby said, “I want you to shoot it down.”


“Eddie, we have the tapes, correct?”

“Yes, but—”

“These people are dead already. None of them can fly the plane. It’s the least we can do to bring comfort to their loved ones. The public will eat it up. The passengers will be heroes.”


“Eddie, that’s an order. Shoot it down once it gets over unoccupied land. I’ve got your back.”

“Yes, sir.”

Hornsby was filled with disgust beyond expression. At that moment, he could not say whom he hated more: George Cane, who had offered him the job; Herbert Cane, George’s uncle and ex-president, who had talked him into taking it; or William Hampton, Cane’s womanizing and worthless predecessor in the Oval Office, who let the towelheads grow into a threat. If I could get them all in here with me, he thought, I’d force them to make a decision. For once in their lives. Then I’d strangle them all, one by one.

McCardle picked up the phone, listened for a moment, and turned to the vice president.

“The head of the president’s Secret Service detail, sir. He wants to speak to you.”

“Yes,” Hornsby said wearily, putting the phone to his ear. “No, I wouldn’t say things are under control, but I think it’s as good as it’s likely to get … Yes, he can come back … Tell him I’ll set up the photo op on the South Lawn, and he can make a speech when he gets back … Tell him to call me.”

He hung up the phone and looked at McCardle.

“Well, Mike? Nothing like having the war gift wrapped and dropped on your goddamn doorstep.”

“You can say that again, sir.”

American Crusade cover

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