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PHANTOM by Ted Bell

PHANTOM

By Ted Bell

Pub Date: March 20th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-210707-7
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Strange disasters are occurring around the world.

 

These disasters include the unexplained explosion of ABM missiles in their silos in Alaska and the unlikely sinking of a U.S. cruise ship by a Russian submarine in the Caribbean. The supervillain behind the mishaps is a monolithic supercomputer called Perseus, which sits 2001-like beneath the Persian Gulf. In his latest fanciful globetrotting adventure featuring British counterintelligence star Alex Hawke, Bell (Warlord, 2010, etc.) projects a future in which Artificial Intelligence has advanced to the point where its human creators can only hope to contain it. In fact, Perseus' increasingly nervous quadriplegic inventor, Dr. Darius Saffari, who answers to the government of Iran, can only pretend to control his creation anymore. The world is at risk. Before Hawke can short-circuit the evil black tower, he must survive a dangerous personal mission in Siberia to rescue his true love Anastasia, long thought dead. In a previous adventure, he killed an old-style imperialist ruler embraced as the new Tsar. Here, vengeful soldiers who remain loyal to the Tsar target both Hawke and Alexei, the 3-year-old son he never knew he had.

A long novel that is short on suspense but still keeps the reader involved with its charmingly unflappable hero and narrative quirks, as well as the ease with which it unfolds on multiple continents, on land and sea and in air.