Biologically enhanced combatants beat the stuffing out of each other in a race to recover secret weapons buried in the final days of the good old U.S.A. in the second volume of Ferrigno’s Assassin Trilogy (Prayers for the Assassin, 2006).
Think things are bad now? Wait until you see the year 2043 when America has split into the Islamic Republic, the Bible Belt and Mormon Territories. The long threatened rise of sea levels has isolated the bulk of Florida; Mexico is nibbling at the border; and the geosynchronous satellites that made communications a breeze have been blown to smithereens in outer-space pile-ups. It is a gloomy world indeed. Black-robed fundamentalists roam the streets of the American Islamic Republic like Talibani on steroids, inflicting justice on the spot, and in the Bible Belt militias and gangs of thugs seem to hold the balance of power outside Atlanta, capital of the Christian states. Neither nation is capable of turning out the scientists or engineers needed to keep up their infrastructure, but they do know how to turn out splendid soldiers along the lines of superskilled Islamic assassin Rakkim Epps, who appeared in the trilogy’s first volume. Rakkim, now middle-aged, would like some time to enjoy domestic life with his brilliant wife Sarah and little son Michael, but his president needs him to infiltrate the Bible Belt, where government forces secretly search for a bit of dark technological magic buried in a Southern mountaintop. Rakkim normally works alone, but on this assignment he is saddled with Leo, a brilliant but spectacularly naïve Jewish computer nerd with no soldierly skills. The unlikely team infiltrate the Belt via the Texas coast. Deadly encounters pile up, Leo falls in love, a surgically enhanced sadist threatens at every step and, back in Seattle, Rakkim’s family is in great danger from the black robes, and everyone is manipulated by an evil and immortal mastermind somewhere at sea.
Overstuffed with disturbing imagery and not for the faint-hearted, but seductive and occasionally amusing in its gloomy way.