Former Sen. Bob Graham speaks his mind in thriller


Senator Bob Graham chats with fans while signing copies of his book "Intelligence Matters" in 2004. In his recently released thriller, “Keys to the Kingdom,” Graham gets to say things he couldn’t in his nonfiction books. (Bill O'Leary/TWP)

Thankfully, Graham is alive and well. But, along with a similar background, the real Senator and the fictitious Senator share a deep enmity toward Saudi Arabia.

In the book, the Grahamlike character accuses the kingdom of having a “full role in the preparation for and the execution of the [9/11] plot.” That gets the fictional Florida senator killed. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, al-Qaeda decides it’s going to set off a nuclear bomb.

In interviews, Graham, 74, has said he wrote the book because it allowed him to voice his anger at Saudi Arabia (he believes the American government has buried the country’s role in the attacks) and because there were “some things I wanted to say that I didn’t think I could do in nonfiction.”

He certainly couldn’t get away with sex scenes in his previous books, “Intelligence Matters” and “America, the Owner’s Manual.”

In “Keys to the Kingdom,” characters must race against time to stop a terrorist attack. But, as in any good suspense thriller, they somehow make time for more intimate matters.

“He rolled over, his upper body supported with his left elbow. He held his position, gazing at her naked and glistening body. She was all his now. He kissed her, encircling her parted, moistened lips.”

The quote will have to stop there because, as Graham knows, there are things in books (and family newspaper blogs) that you just can’t say.

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