Farnsworth (Blood Oath, 2010) turns in another fast-paced thriller with a supernatural flair in the second installment of his Nathaniel Cade series.
Cade isn’t the garden-variety bite-’em-in-the-neck sort of vampire: He’s been around for decades in the service of the U.S. government. More particularly, Cade is sworn to protect the president of the United States, and sometimes that gets a little hairy. Only a select few know about Cade and all of the other things that go bump in the night. In fact, the government’s done a bang-up job of keeping Cade and the constant incursions from the Other Side from public knowledge. Zach Barrows, Cade’s handler, is one who sometimes wishes he didn’t know what evil lurks around every corner, particularly when that evil is intent on killing him and the rest of mankind. Although inoculated against zombies and taught to handle himself in a fight, Zach really would just rather have a quiet night and a little recreational sex. No such luck, though. Cade has unearthed a strange surge of creatures that Zach has dubbed the “snakeheads.” Reptilian in looks, the strong, scaly things have an appetite for human flesh and a strength and resilience that make them hard to bring down in a fair fight. Now it looks like the snakeheads may be multiplying in numbers that even Cade, with his enormous capacity to outwit and overpower the creatures, may not be able to stop. Farnsworth leans heavily on every conspiracy theory ever uttered out loud, and explains most of it by blaming it on the CIA and a bad seed civilian company, both of which are almost comically nasty. And he veers into silliness-quite often, with villains that lack only a Snidely Whiplash mustache to paint the full picture. He makes up for the lack of depth in his characters and plot with some crackerjack action scenes that carry the story.
This book won’t change lives or linger long in the memory, but for pure entertainment purposes, it’s hard to beat Cade and company riding to the rescue.