A private contractor uses drone weaponry in North African guerrilla warfare.
Political consultant Maden (Drone, 2013) is back with his second novel about the ever expanding world of cutting-edge drone technology and its increased role in global conflicts. Once again, our central actor is Troy Pearce, a Wyoming mountain boy who was previously part of a CIA Special Operations Group in Iraq and Afghanistan. He now runs a private contracting company that specializes in the deployment of “remotely piloted vehicles” and allows him the discretion to choose jobs that are consistent with his moral compass. He has by no means denounced allegiance to America, because “Pearce still loved his country but hated politics.” As a consequence, his loyalty to former U.S. President Margaret Meyers, along with a desire to help friends in need, draws him into a complicated web of international business, political intrigue and nontraditional conflict. Pearce sets out to find a former lover and an old comrade who are in the middle of a multiparty combat zone in North Africa, where he uses his extensive drone weaponry to defend friends, new and old, in a series of desert clashes. The Chinese government is on the ground due to interests in mining lanthanum (a rare earth element critical for the production of batteries). There's also an al-Qaida Sahara group that's pushing a jihadist agenda and the fierce fighting force of the legendary nomadic Tuareg people, who are pushing a nationalist agenda. Add a roving French Foreign Legion force and let the fireworks erupt. The inclusion of all of these conflicting parties and interests makes for a narrative that can be hard to follow, but the back story about Pearce and his lover provides a quick glimpse of Maden’s developing ability to tell a tale.
A multifaceted political thriller that will delight tech junkies.