Agents with the Department of Homeland Security fight to stop terrorists from procuring ancient beads with powerful, elusive properties.
The third thriller in Parsons’ (Baden-Powell’s Beads: London, 2012) Baden-Powell’s Beads series continues the fight between good and evil for possession of the magically powerful Zulu beads. The beads were originally brought to London from South Africa by Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. The exact origin and power source of these beads are a mystery. However, they seem to exude an extraordinary energy that the beholder can feel. The inclusion of the beads’ mystical properties in this political and historical adventure at first may seem a bit odd to someone who has not read the first two novels in the series. Once the reader can suspend disbelief, however, the mystery becomes addictive. Homeland Security agents Patrick Dartson and his partner, Adnan Fazeph, and aspiring agent Pam Blanchard each hold one of these mystical beads. When terrorists attack London, Patrick and Adnan are sent to investigate the source of the attack. The agents suspect a connection between the terrorists responsible for the nuclear attack and the terrorists they previously prevented from obtaining the complete set of beads. The agents must risk their lives, working undercover, to prevent the imminent world destruction that would occur if power fell into the wrong hands. The pitting of the all-good American agents against the evil-doing Islamic extremists at times goes too far. Characters are polarized and cartoonish in their intentions, either purely heroic or outright villainous. Some of the alliances, such as the bond between a Rastafarian henchman and an Islamic extremist, are strange and implausible. In addition, the combination of actual historical figures, such as Haile Selassie, and purely fictional ones, like the villain Lij Mered, can be confusing. Parsons’ strength, however, lies in his gripping storytelling. Despite some of the deficits in characters’ plausibility, Parsons’ suspenseful storyline makes it easy for the reader to become thoroughly engrossed in the tale.
A historical thriller chock-full of adventure, drama, villains and American heroes.