This book is pure adventure. If you enjoyed movies the likes of "Green Zone" or "Zero Dark 30" or books such as "Rage" by Simon Conway, "The Chinese Agenda" by Joe Poyer, or "Lift Off at Satan" by Richard Butler, you are going to really enjoy "Holy of Holies". It was published in 1980's and its a very timely tale of the political climate in the middle eastern part of the world today.
It tells the story of an ex-pilot, Charles Rawcliffe, living a settled down, dull life in England. Wife and young child, small business that's barely making a profit. He longs for the adventure & freedom he enjoyed when he was an airline pilot. And he never considers the wary thought to be careful what you wish for. Because he gets the adventure he was looking for. In spades!! Along with an equal measure of danger and intrigue he never considered. It changes his life in more ways than he bargained for.
A young R.A.F. officer, moonlighting as a babysitter for his son, tells him of a freelance job he had volunteered to do but now has second thoughts about going through on. The job is to fly a C-130 Hercules to an unknown destination, with an unknown cargo for unknown reasons. Rawcliffe, seeing an opportunity to make some big money and add the adventure he was craving for just this one job, jumps at the chance to take the young pilots place for the job "interview" and subsequently, the job.
He soon finds out that the people who made the "job offer" are not associated with any legitimate military or commercial airline. He also learns that these people are deadly serious about who should and shouldn't know about this venture after he finds out the RAF officer, who told him of the "job offer", was killed in an "accident" and Rawcliffe is unable to backout. Or his family could have an "accident"! Forced to fly for these dangerous people, he meets the four other pilots hired to fly four other C-130's on the business venture. He finds they're all either ex military or escaping from a murky past.
What follows is a nightmare world of killers, mercenaries, fanatics, shady political deals and a diabolical plot designed for an awesome act of terror so lethal as to change world events in favor of a few western political and business tycoons.
This all takes place in the time before cell phones and laptop computers. Intelligence work was a physical grudge match between democracy and communism. There were no satellites guiding smart bombs or drones to a target. Things happened face to face. Whether it was passing sensitive information on a park bench or taking a target out with a handheld weapon. Real spy vs, spy environment.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I've read it a number of times and plan to read it again. It is only 360 pages yet you do not want it to end. It is a fantastic, very real, mature, and intelligent thriller.