By Dean Crawford
His fiancé abducted three years ago, Ethan Warner, former soldier and war correspondent, has been living a rough life. Then, he is recruited by a military buddy to find the man’s granddaughter, Lucy Morgan. An archaeologist working in the Negev Desert, Lucy has been abducted by an unknown party shortly after discovering remains of a humanoid some are suggesting is alien in origin. Meanwhile, back in Washington, D.C., two homicide investigators stumble onto what, at first, looks like a simple case of three overdose victims. However, after the post mortem, one of the victims is rife with anomalies. Evading a ruthless civilian security force, Warner and Lucy’s mother seek answers not only to Lucy’s whereabouts, but to life itself, while the investigators piece together clues that implicate a powerful and controversial pastor.
This is not a new and unique plot, but I thoroughly enjoy stuff like this. The research into the mysteries of the ages must be extensive. Anytime an author can present history’s mysteries, especially when they relate to cultures and people of a hundred, a thousand or millennia ago, and the origin of life, the book deserves a look.
Lucy Morgan: Archaeologist, father dead
Ethan Warner – Former Second Lieutenant in the Marines, former war correspondent, fiancé disappeared in Gaza three years previously. He is good at finding missing people.
Doug Jarvis: Lucy’s grandfather, works for the Defense Intelligence Agency, known Warner for twenty years.
Lucas Tyrell: D.C. homicide investigator, 280 pounds, black, family died in 9/11, in trouble a lot for espousing conspiracy theories
Isaiah Black: Liberal senator running for the U.S. presidency
Kevin Patterson: Pastor of the American Evangelical Association’s New Covenant Church in D.C. with a weekly television show to thirty million followers. Also involved in secret medical experiments to communicate with God.
Rachel Morgan: Lucy’s mother who tags along with Warner.
There are some other worthy characters. They’re all a pretty standard fare for a book or this type and they’re all shown to be exactly what they are, either good or bad. I found Patterson quite interesting and, just for personal interest, I would have enjoyed hearing a bit more about his beliefs and justifications for his actions. The others are well presented.
In stories of this nature, those spouting scientific jargon and lectures tend to sound similar, as do the military types, the medical, and the police. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, because it does help to separate the characters. The lectures are not too lengthy and the science and medical technology is, for the most part, properly explained.
Short chapters. Quick actions scenes interspersed with lectures about history and science. Not too many secrets kept as the bad guys and their intentions are pretty much spelled out from the get-go. I think Crawford provided adequate detail on foreign and domestic locales. He keeps the story moving and deals well with time and circumstances in two parts of the world. There is a lot going on in this story, but it is not so complex you won’t be able to follow it.