In this paranormal thriller, a retired military commander races to save the world.
At the outset of this sequel, the United States is in tough shape. Massive weather disasters strike with alarming regularity; unemployment remains in the double digits; inflation is rampant (a loaf of bread costs over $5); and the country faces an incredibly divisive presidential election. This gloomy state of affairs is further darkened by three deadly assaults that happen in rapid succession: U.S. ambassador and consummate Washington insider Winston Tarmac is blown up in his limousine; Saleem Nasir, the prospective chief of staff to rising Republican star and presidential candidate Thomas Maro, is incinerated in his jeep; and Rio DeLaurentis, a political activist who’s just gone viral with a video in which she berates Congress as a bunch of “moronic a-holes,” is supposedly killed when a missile takes down her private plane. Rio and her retired colonel brother, Giacomo, are the children of Paolo DeLaurentis, whose accurate visions of the future before his death fueled the first installment of DiVerniero’s (Messenger From God, 2013) series. The attempted assassination of Giacomo’s sister (readers learn immediately that she survived and is in a coma, although almost everyone in the story thinks she’s dead) propels him into a continent-hopping mission to prevent what he’s seen in a vision of his own: the assassination of the U.S. president, plunging the world into even greater chaos.
The key moments of that disaster were all foreseen by Paolo before he died, and periodically throughout the gripping book those prophecies are doled out posthumously in letters he left behind for his children. These missives predict in more or less specific terms incidents that begin to combine into a Christian end times picture that will culminate with something called “the last eulogy.” “This is the time,” Giacomo explains, “when we are given the last chance to right the wrongs before darkness falls upon us.” But before such apocalyptic events begin, there’s plenty of taut, Tom Clancy-style international intrigue to unfold, involving everything from a violent militia group called the Fighters for Freedom Brigade to the villain of the previous volume, Dr. Colin Payne, whose long shadow extends over the plot of this sequel. Giacomo is DiVerniero’s main action-hero focus for the global machinations because he has those posthumous notes guiding him as well as tantalizing visions of the future. But the author is here writing at the top of his form, and the book is filled with other enjoyably realized characters, particularly the hapless and overmatched American president, Arthur Waldron; his equally harried vice president, Jerry Richardson; and Maro, the son of a Muslim woman and a Coptic Christian man. Characters are constantly getting threatening phone calls from the sinister forces lurking behind the scenes as DiVerniero expertly ratchets up the plot’s tension before the fast-paced climax.
An action-packed international tale with Christian overtones and strong characters.