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by James Lilliefors

genre: thriller

Great concept, a little hard to follow. That’s why I gave it 3 stars.

Synopsis from Goodreads

Two brothers race to stop a political mastermind’s massive bioterrorist plot in this terrifying espionage thriller.
In remote pockets of the Third World, a deadly virus is quietly sweeping through impoverished farming villages and shanty towns with frightening speed and potency. Meanwhile, in Washington, a three-word message left in a safe-deposit box may be the key to stopping the crisis—if, that is, Charles Mallory, a private intelligence contractor and former CIA operative, can decipher the puzzle before time runs out.

What Mallory begins to discover are the traces of a secret war, with a bold objective—to create a new, technologically advanced society. With the help of his brother Jon, an investigative reporter, can he break the story to the world before it is too late—before a planned “humane depopulation” takes place?

As the stakes and strategies of this secret war become more evident, the Mallory brothers find themselves in a complex game of wits with an enemy they can’t see: a new sort of superpower led by a brilliant, elusive tactician who believes that ends justify means.


It’s terrifying what people will do for money. Even though the villains would have you believe it’s for the greater good, it’s really for money. They talk about how much it would cost to buy a news story, to buy a country. “How many people would notice or care if hundreds of thousands of Africans went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up?”

At least one of the middle men tries to excuse himself from responsibility by saying, “they’re going to do it with or without me, I may as well make some money and be a part of it. I’m just a cog in the machine.” I don’t know about you, but I think participation counts. In some cases, neutrality counts as helping. It’s one of those, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us,” things.

The concept is great, but it was really hard to follow. If I had been reading a paperback, I might have kept track of the names and characters a bit better (as opposed to listening to an audiobook while I drove.) As it was, we came to the big reveal and…! I gasped, then went, “who’s that?” I had to keep listening, trying to piece it together. It was a rather strange and somewhat anticlimactic ending leaving me confused and dissatisfied.

3 out of 5 stars.

amazonbutton2 copy-Eliabeth Hawthorne