Friday, October 19, 2012

Guest Post: Father Night

Summary: “An eye for an eye will make the world go blind.”—Gandhi

A tidal wave of reform is sweeping across the Middle East. Many lurk in the shadows, eager to seize power--giants of a vast criminal underworld, fueled by revenge and vengeance. Their wars know no end.  Their power knows no bounds. 

At the center of it all are two men who are inches away from holding the world in their hands: one is known as Dyadya Gourdjiev and the other is known only as the Syrian.

Department of Defense special agent Jack McClure has followed this trail of shadows and lies right into the arms of Gourdjiev’s alluring, powerful granddaughter, Annika Dementiev. The lovers are in Moscow when news of Dyadya’s failing health draws a slew of vultures--circling, anxious to seize the empire of secrets he spent a lifetime building. Jack and Annika find themselves locked in battle to ensure his safety…but when it comes to Dyadya, nothing is as it seems.

Alli Carson, the child of a dead US president, has become Jack’s surrogate daughter. While Jack is in Russia, Alli is targeted by a cyber-stalker who knows more about her than anyone should. With no one to trust but her friend, Vera Bard, Alli is determined to discover the truth, but her path forces her to come face-to-face with the nightmarish terror of her past.

As these two stories play out, Secretary of Defense Dennis Paull, with the help of detectives Nona Hendryx and Alan Frain, follows a trail of lies, corruption, and secret pacts that begins with Washington D.C.’s Head of Detectives.
 All paths collide at the feet of one man, an old legend adapting to an ever-changing landscape… a man history might have forsaken, but whose heinous evil is still very much alive: Father Night. -- Forge

In the past, my dad has written some terrific reviews for some of the books in the McClure/Carson series by Eric Van Lustbader. He always seems to enjoy these exciting thrillers, so when I saw that there was a new book in the series called FATHER NIGHT, I figured that he would want to read it. For the most part, he thought this next installment lived up to the reputation of the series. Here are his thoughts:

FATHER NIGHT is the next installment in author Eric van Lustbader’s series of suspense thrillers featuring Department of Defense special agent, Jack McClure. This novel picks up the story after his 2011 thriller, BLOOD TRUST.

Lustbader introduces three seemingly independent plots. First, Jack McClure is in Russian with his lover Annica Dementieva and her criminal grandfather, Dyadya Gourdjiev, who is now aged and in failing heath. Jack is assisting Annica in protecting Gourdjiev from the many enemies he has created over the years. One particularly violent enemy happens to be Annica’s half-brother.

Next, Allie Carson, daughter of a dead U.S. president, continues her training at the secret service facility, Fearington, where at the five-year anniversary of her kidnapping she becomes a victim of a cyber attack that threatens her life. Allie’s desire to find the culprit leads her into even more danger.

As these storylines develop, two local Washington D.C. detectives are recruited by Secretary of Homeland Security, Dennis Paull, to join a secret investigation of a group that includes Allie’s powerful uncle, Henry Holt Carson, a shadowy general and a black ops project called three-thirteen.

Intertwined in all this is Werner van Verschuer, a new version of the Nazi, Dr. Josef Mengele, who does experiments with twins and the “Syrian”, a Middle East criminal master-mind who has plans to take advantage of all the chaos created by the Arab Spring uprisings for financial gain.

In his usual manner Lustbader weaves together a very complicated series of stories filled with lies and deceit that leave the reader unsure of the outcome until the very end where he skillfully brings all the plots together in a surprising conclusion. Lustbader also develops great characters and his heroes are not perfect. Allie has Graves Disease and Jack suffers from dyslexia and both have to deal with the premature death of Jack’s daughter. In this story there is no confusion in separating the good characters from the bad.

Lustbader also develops interesting and deep relationships such as Jack and Annica, Allie and her roommate Vera, Vera and the computer hacker Caro, detectives Alex Fraine and Nona Heroe and Annica with her grandfather Dyadya Gourdjiev.

As is typical in suspense thrillers, there is plenty of hand to hand combat, brutality and death. Additionally, some surprising characters are eliminated in all the violence.

My one small criticism of the book is that the vast number of characters makes it very difficult to keep track of all the action without referring back to prior chapters. Although this book can be enjoyed without reading the other novels in the series, it would be helpful if the reader was familiar with some of the other books before reading FATHER NIGHT.

If you enjoy a fast paced suspense thriller with plenty of twists and turns, you’ll definitely enjoy FATHER NIGHT.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy and to Booking Pap Pap for his review.


bermudaonion said...

I do like suspense thrillers and don't even mind the hand to hand combat, brutality, and death in them like I do in movies. If I ever read this, I'll try to remember to make notes about the characters.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I definitely am someone who has to make notes on ALL books I read about who the characters are - sounds like I'd be doing a lot of writing with this one!

Beth F said...

I use sticky-note flags to tag the pages when characters are introduced so I can easily go back and be reminded of who they are. Mr. BFR would like this series.