The Cobweb (Neal Stephensom and J. Frederick George) - Bantam - 1996 - 414 pages

This book was originally co-written by Stephenson under the pen name, "Stephen Bury."  Then, Neal Stephenson became a very popular author.  So, Stephenson's name replaced Bury when the book was reprinted in 2004.  It is hard to tell which parts of the book were co-written by George.  However, the Stephenson touch is evident throughout.  The story is very entertaining.  A cop with integrity in Iowa discovers some suspicious activity at a local college by "Jordanian" exchange students.  At the same time, an FBI analyst discovers the same thing while following the purchases of various of commodities by a country (Iraq) receiving U.S. foreign aid so it could wage war against Iran in 1990.  Stephenson and George explain it all as President George H.W. Bush prepares to attack Saddam Hussein after the invasion of Kuwait.  This is historical fiction at its best.  Our United States intelligence agencies (FBI, CIA etc.) are treated poorly by the authors in this volume.  The whole thing probably did not happen.  Probably.  [JAM 7/31/2018]