In Parson’s (Baden Powell’s Beads: Aksum, 2013, etc.) fourth installment in his thriller series, the world’s survival hangs in the balance as an asteroid approaches Earth.
Homeland Security agents Patrick Dartson and Adnan Fazeph are back in Washington, D.C., only months after thwarting terrorist Lij Mered’s attempt to procure all 23 of the titular mystical, ancient beads, which can make their owner unstoppable. However, the agents’ fight is far from over, as Mered and his formidable army remain at large. When the agents’ seductive enemy Cheri Hassan calls, Patrick reluctantly agrees to meet with her in Paris in the hope that an alliance will help them find and stop Mered’s terrorist acts and his attempts at world domination. Pam Blanchard, a new agent-in-training and Patrick’s love interest, convinces them to accept her assistance in their mission. Meanwhile, the agents’ supervisor, Secretary of Homeland Security Cisneros, receives news that a phenomenally fast asteroid is rapidly heading toward the Earth’s surface. Scientists predict that in just two months, it will hit, destroying all life—unless drastic measures are taken to stop it. As a result, the agents’ mission to obtain the beads becomes even more urgent. Parson pulls out all the stops in this classic Armageddon scenario. Although the overarching plotline isn’t entirely original, the intersecting subplots and changing alliances keep the story surprising and addictive. Parson also adds more complexity to both his heroes and antagonists in this installment. Although the descriptions of the female characters still often fixate on their physical attributes, women do take on more powerful, complex roles. Overall, this character development will deepen readers’ investment in the story.
A thriller that’s difficult to put down despite a familiar storyline.