A modern day international thriller which is apparently the second book in the series but can be read as a stand alone.

Page count: 188 pages in the pdf.
Format: ebook, a pdf.

Dominic Gray is a former Marine and a Jujitsu Master. After a strange case, he quit the Marines and now he works for Viktor Rader who is an expert of cults and cult like behavior. Together they investigate cases where cults are involved. This is their first case together.

Gray meets a prospective client in Manhattan. Al-Miri, the client, wants Gray to investigate a theft from his company. The company researched aging. Gray is at first sceptical about the case but decides to take it when he sees a strange medallion that Al-Miri wears. During his investigation, he meets Veronica Brown, a beautiful and driven investigative journalist. Veronica is instantly intrigued by Gray who is less than thrilled by the idea that a journalist would investigate his doings. It seems that Al-Miri’s company might have found a way to extend life significantly, which interests a lot of people.

Another storyline follows Jax, the mercenary who delivered the stolen liquid forward.

The book is very fast-paced with short chapters and several action scenes. The point-of-view characters also change quickly from Gray to Veronica to the villains. Jax’s chapters felt a bit disconnected from the others because his connection to the rest of the plot seemed pretty slim until near the end. The plot moves quickly from Egypt to US to Bulgaria and back to Egypt, and I enjoyed the international feel of the book. People even speak other languages the English! The places are also described well, although economically, and there’s a different feel to the busy New York and to the lazy afternoon in Venezuela.

The cult in the book has ties to Egyptian mythology which I enjoyed a lot. Several characters also glimpse a threatening figure wrapped in bandages lurking around.

The book has several point-of-view characters but Gray is clearly the main character, and Jax and Veronica are the main supporting characters. All three are surprisingly complex for a thriller. Gray has mental baggage from the previous book where he apparently fell in love and lost the woman. She’s still around but was so shocked by the events that she doesn’t want to continue a relationship with Gray. Gray had an awful childhood with a sickly mother and an abusive father, but he’s turned all the pain he had to endure into a strength and has a great need to protect others. He’s reluctant to use weapons and prefers unarmed combat. At times, he loathes that he has to use violence, but when it’s necessary, he kills without remorse. During his childhood and teen aged years, Gray was taught a variety of martial arts and mental disciplines.

He’s attracted to Veronica but he still has feelings for his previous girlfriend.

In contrast, Jax is a mercenary. He seems to care only about money and women. When people come after him, his only instinct is to survive at any cost. He’s from a poor background and he doesn’t want to return to poverty, instead he wants to enjoy life to the fullest.

Veronica is a driven, self-employed investigative journalist. She’s gorgeous (as is alway the case in books like these) and she knows how to use her looks to her advantage. Later, we find out that she believes that her days are numbered and she wants to hold on to what she has. She has an instinct for juicy stories and Gray immediately intrigues her.

There’s a whole cast of other characters. The villains belong to a cult and they don’t care who they hurt to get what they want. Gray’s partner Viktor is a Sherlock Holmes like figure: he’s brilliant in his own field, and he uses opium and absinthe to escape the boredom of his life.

Author’s website: http://laytongreen.com/

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