The protagonist’s second run-in with conspiracy results in more exhilaration; readers will surely welcome a third.

The Omega Covenant

Attorney Mike Marchetti returns to investigate unexplained deaths on a Hawaiian island while an epidemic plagues the U.S. mainland in Holcroft’s (Patriot’s Blood, 2014) latest thriller.

Marchetti’s romantic Kauai getaway with reporter girlfriend Vicki Steele is wrecked when someone attacks the couple. Vicki needs to recuperate, and Marchetti, with his Dallas law partner buying him out, spends his free time tracking down the assailant—possibly related to terrorists whose plans the attorney had previously thwarted. He likewise agrees to help Vicki’s friend Janine Nichols, one of several locals wanting answers regarding suspicious deaths, starting with Janine’s close friend reporter Brad Vaughn, a “super-cautious” driver killed in a car accident. Reteaming with retired detective/private eye Tom Shannon, Marchetti zeroes in on one of Brad’s stories: a false-flag operation. At the same time, deaths in various mainland states, all symptomatically identical, seem to confirm a viral outbreak. As the CDC searches for Ground Zero, some in the White House surmise that the virus is an orchestrated strike against the U.S. Villains, meanwhile, are devising something even more treacherous, set for an upcoming event in Honolulu, which may intersect with Marchetti and Tom’s investigation. The two men make headway on at least one of the cases, inadvertently putting themselves in the path of a very dangerous individual who excels at keeping things quiet via abductions or murder. Holcroft, as in his preceding novel, builds a credible back story for his protagonist. Marchetti, for example, though still only a lawyer, is already invested—find the person(s) who attacked him and Vicki —before Janine asks for a favor. There’s ample coverage for the subplots, including agencies discussing measures to prevent the virus spreading further and retaliation against the culprits they believe are responsible. Most but not all of the baddies are known, and despite making a few avoidable mistakes (for example, mapping out the nefarious plan for a hostage), their scheme is both methodical and brilliant. Marchetti, a former Marine, once again winds up immersed in action before it’s over, while the ending takes a surprising turn and closes with a lingering uneasiness.

The protagonist’s second run-in with conspiracy results in more exhilaration; readers will surely welcome a third.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5370-5858-0

Page Count: 366

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 77

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller


Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Lame but, like its predecessors, bound for bestsellerdom.


A serial killer with a sense of history is the baddie in this latest from Baldacci, one of the reigning kings of potboilers (Split Second, 2003, etc.).

He kills, he leaves clues, he flatters through imitation: Son of Sam, the San Francisco Zodiac killer, Richard Ramirez, John Wayne Gracy, and so on down a sanguinary list of accredited members of the Monsters’ Hall of Fame. Suddenly, the landscape of poor little Wrightsburg, Virginia, is littered with corpses, and ex-Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell have their hands full. That’s because bewildered, beleaguered Chief of Police Todd Williams has turned to the newly minted private investigating firm of King and Maxwell for desperately needed (unofficial) help. Even these ratiocinative wizards, however, admit to puzzlement. “But I'm not getting this,” says Michelle. “Why commit murders in similar styles to past killers as a copycat would and then write letters making it clear you’re not them?” Excellent question, and it goes pretty much unanswered. Never mind—enter the battling Battles, a family with the requisite number of sins and secrets to qualify fully as hot southern Gothic and to prop up a plot in need. Bobby Battles, the patriarch, is bedridden, but Remmy, his wife, is one lively mischief-making steel magnolia. She’s brought breaking-and-entering charges against decent local handyman Junior Deaver, who as a result languishes in the county jail. Convinced of his innocence, Junior’s lawyer hires King & Maxwell to sniff around for exculpatory evidence. Well, will the two plot streams flow together? You betcha. Will the copycat-serial-killer at one point decide that King and Maxwell are just too clever to live? Inevitably. And when at last that CCSK’s identity is revealed and his crimes explained (talkily and tediously), will readers be satisfied? Only the charitable among them.

Lame but, like its predecessors, bound for bestsellerdom.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2004

ISBN: 0-446-53108-1

Page Count: 440

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet