My highly alienated and extremely lethal antihero, “Devlin,” is back for round three against the forces of darkness in the latest installment of the series, Shock Warning, out this week from Pinnacle Books. (The Kindle version comes out Oct. 4)
All your favorite characters are back, at least for a while, including Devlin’s mysterious Iranian lady friend, Maryam; crazy Amanda Harrington; the increasingly canny president, Jeb Tyler; and, of course, the very personification of evil, the German billionaire Emanuel Skorzeny, who’s made it his personal mission to destroy Western civilization as we know it.
Although it’s easily read on its own, the narrative picks up where the previous novels, Hostile Intent and Early Warning, left off, so it’s best read as part of a trilogy whose main plot lines conclude with the new volume. It’s all good genre fun, but with a serious underpinning, which may be summarized as the suicide of the elites and the common cause they make with the forces of nihilism. Skorzeny, who survived the firebombing of Dresden as a child (there’s a rather gruesome but accurate description of what happened there), has everything a man could want except love — and he doesn’t care who has to die for him to get it.
For personal reasons, he’s made it his mission to eliminate the one man who stands in his way — “Devlin,” the no-name operative of the Central Security Service whose parents were killed in the Rome airport terrorist attack in 1985 — so it’s no surprise when Skorzeny once again makes common cause with Islamic radicals to take down America. I won’t go into the details, but the story involves lasers on the moon, holographic images of some very special historical personages, the imminent reappearance of the occluded Mahdi from his holy well in Qom, and a return to the sands of Desert One for the final confrontation. There’s a bit with a coffin that I’m particularly fond of. Oh yes, and the Iranian nuclear program gets sorted out, too.
In other words, fun for the whole family. Hope you enjoy it.