Synopsis

Siege Of The Capital, the second Jake Katz novel, tracks Hamaas Abdul Khaalis’ takeover of the District Building, the Islamic Center, and the B’nai B’rith in Washington in March 1977, during which one person was killed, several others (including Marion Barry) were wounded, and more than 100 people were held hostage for 39 hours. Four years earlier, Black Muslims had slain seven members of Mr. Khaalis’ family, including three small children, at his home in Washington, D.C.

Siege Of The Capital tells these stories through the eyes of Jake Katz, who left the Metropolitan Police Department to go to law school, and became the Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted the murders of Khaalis’ family. Because he had a relationship – sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always unpredictable – with Khaalis, the U.S. Attorney calls on him to help negotiate the end of the hostage crisis.

Mr. Tevelin wrote the book over 18 months, interviewing then-U.S. Attorney Earl Silbert, prosecutors Henry Schuelke and Mark Tuohey, retired D.C. Superior Court Judge Truman Morrison (then a public defender assigned to represent Khaalis), and a number of other persons involved in prosecuting and reporting the event, and making numerous trips to research trial transcripts, U.S. Attorney’s Office files, police interviews, and Mr. Khaalis’ medical records at the National Archives and D.C. Superior Court.

The novel is true to the facts of both cases. The fiction weaves Katz’ personal story – including his time on the MPD, his torrid relationship with a female colleague, and his own crisis deciding what he wants to do with the rest of his life – through the real 39 hours and their aftermath.