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by Matthew Reilly

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4165-7759-1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Scarecrow is back.

The Army of Thieves presents itself as an anarchist group made up of once-imprisoned Pinochet regime torturers supplemented by assorted African mercenaries, rebels and terrorists. Leading the diabolical cadre is the acid-scarred Lord of Anarchy. On the island, the Thieves control a colossal thermobaric bomb capable of setting the atmosphere of the northern hemisphere aflame. Reilly (Hell Island, 2006, etc.) launches his hero, USMC Captain Shane Schofield, call-sign "Scarecrow," against the Army of Thieves. Scarecrow, recuperating from a bloody mission which roused the ire of the French so much that they put a bounty on his head, had been assigned to a cold-weather weapons-testing mission at an encampment near Dragon Island. With a narrative line suitable for the latest XBox 360 got-to-have-it gamer edition, Reilly delivers nonstop action to propel Scarecrow and his team on and off the island. Characters come, play a part big or small and get shot or blown up, and sometimes come back to life, and it’s all equal opportunity mayhem. There’s a modicum of backstory, and the text is interspersed with maps and line drawings of weapons and facilities, but the escapades are exaggerated Moonraker-fantastical, with more gadget magic and without Fleming’s Bond-character nuances. Think testosterone-bulked automatic weapons, stolen Ospreys, mini-subs and a machine-gun-toting robot named Bertie.

Action comic overkill.