While conducting a raid on a murderous Mexican drug gang hiding across the border in underground caves, an ultrasecret U.S. government agency out to rescue one of its own encounters blind killer beasts that point back to the laboratory origins of Jack the Ripper.
In his seventh Event Group thriller, Golemon reconvenes many of the principals of previous installments (Legacy, 2011, etc.), including headstrong go-to guy Col. Jack Collins; his love, feisty geologist Sarah McIntire; Department 5656 director Niles Compton; boyish security man Jason Ryan; and French black-op veteran Col. Henri Farbeaux, an antiquities addict who holds the Event Group responsible for the death of his wife. The action shifts from Mexico, where the ruthless drug lord Anaconda has abducted McIntire, to the Event Group complex in Nevada to CIA headquarters in Virginia. The president of the United States issues urgent directives, the rogue government group Men in Black insinuates itself in the plot, and weird stuff happens. If only the contemporary events were as tense and atmospheric as the opening scenes in Victorian England involving a timid Robert Louis Stevenson, the murderous American science professor he implicates and a queenly cover-up of the government's involvement with the professor. In a subsequent historical chapter, young George S. Patton is forever changed by a grisly encounter. But once the novel leaps ahead to the modern day, its fear factor fades and its characters become less interesting—though Sarah's attraction to Farbeaux, likely to continue playing out in subsequent novels, has its moments.
The perennially popular Jack-the-Ripper story is a handy selling point, but Golemon's efforts to explode the Ripper legend are not inspired.