Latter-day witches strive for world domination in this latest swollen thriller from Folsom.
Niccolò Machiavelli, that 16th-century master of political manipulation, left a posthumous addendum to The Prince, some say, dubbed The Machiavelli Covenant. Supposedly, it made the case for a kind of super-coven, something to serve as the engine for the seizing and maintaining of power. Having spawned the arcane rituals and related darksome things a certain class of witch has always shown an affinity for, this witch’s elite began drawing to it the best and brightest of those of a megalomaniacal bent. Consider, for instance, the goings-on in the White House, where suddenly a contemporary U.S. president experiences the sting of betrayal when virtually his entire inner circle turns rogue. What gives? Is he surrounded by witches? Are his chief of staff, his secretary of defense, his national security advisor and, yes, even his vice president, secret signatories to the pernicious Covenant? A puzzlement. But one thing President John Henry Harris does know is that no matter how useful in the war against terrorism the act is purported to be, he’s not about to issue orders for the assassinations of the president of France or the chancellor of Germany. That being the case—and to avoid his predatory brain trust—he goes on the run. Also on the run, in a manner of speaking, is ex-cop Nicholas Marten (The Exile, 2004). Soon enough, the two connect, find common ground as witchophobes and, with luck and pluck, earn the thanks of a grateful planet.