Daily Archives: October 18, 2019

Covenant of Genesis – Andy McDermott

The Covenant of Genesis: A Novel (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase series Book 4) by Andy McDermott published by Bantam (April 12 2010) 594 pages, I read the Kindle Edition.

Our story starts in the Sands of Oman where a survey crew is using Soundwave to map an oil field. In setting off the charge to make the soundwaves, they uncover a hidden cave. Upon exploring the find, the amazing discovery is transmitted in a feed of images back to their  corporate headquarters. Before they hear back, the crew is killed and the site destroyed by fighter jets of the Saudi air force.

Meanwhile,  in Indonesia,  Nina and Eddie on a new archeological survey for the UN make an unusual discovery of thier own. Upon exploring the find, the amazing discovery is transmitted in a feed of images back to the UN headquarters.  Before they hear back, the crew is killed and the site destroyed by Indonesian pirates. The difference here is that Nina, Eddie and a diver survive.

It’s quite a thrilling adventure with Nina, Eddie and his surprisingly not dead ex-wife Sophia venturing from Indonesia to Antarctica to the Sudan one step ahead of a shadowy conspiracy group comprised of three significant forces, a Muslim,  Jewish and Christian coalition of mercenaries. What it the secret that this cohort is killing anyone who dares to learn the truth.

McDermott writes these adventures that are really longer than they need to be because of all the details he brings to his action sequences.  Although it’s impressively wordy, it’s easily skimmable and though the books are lengthy, they don’t take too long to read. And he is following in the mode of Clive Cussler with these ancient mystery adventures that spark the most interesting what-if speculations.

Good-bye, Cardinal!” shouted Ribbsley, giving di Bonaventura a jaunty wave. The helicopter left the ground, wheeled about, and headed south.
   Di Bonaventura watched it go, then returned to the cave, looking in the direction of the ragged craters marking what had once been the survey camp. There was still cleanup work to be done; the bodies of the men at the camp, or whatever was left of them, had to be found and buried, all evidence of the camp itself removed.
   Anything that could expose the Covenant had to disappear.
   Without a trace.
   Without exception.

Vixen – Ken Bruen

Vixen – Ken Bruen Published by Minotaur Books 2003, 201 pages. A fine British hard boiled police procedural where one character, a doctor, sums it up best… “God help us all if they’re the good guys.” This is the fifth in a series of Inspector Brant stories and an ensemble cast of recurring characters,  like the nick DCI Erika Foster is stationed in. But unlike Bryndza, this novella of Bruen’s follows several characters not focusing on one central character’s perspective.

Written in a terse, almost staccato style, the story starts literally with a bang as a small explosive is set off in a cinema.  Then we jump into lives in progress with pompous Superintendent Brown asking officious Chief Inspector Roberts where the flamboyant  Sergeant Brant, the chip-on-her-shoulder DC Falls and the anxious Porter Nash aren’t on the scene already.

Interspersed between the scenes of interpersonal drama and heavy drinking we follow as the team pursues a scantily-clad, sociopathic siren and her two henchmen, a pair of two bothers, a would-be brains and pure brawn pair of formerly petty criminals as they extort a ransomed from the police to stop the bombings they’ve started. A broad stroke story of colorful characters cast on a canvas of South London’s lesser known drinking establishments.

Angie, in her elation, had let her true self emerge, her eyes no longer guarded, and what looked out was as old as time and primeval in its malevolence.  Ellen had, without realizing it, moved a few feet away, a voice in her head urging her to get the hell out of there. Angie, always sensitive to danger, put out her hand, touched Ellen’s wrist, asked:
   ‘You okay? You don’t look too good.’
   ‘The brandy. I’m not used to it on an empty stomach.’
   She got up, left fast and felt she had indeed supper with the devil. She’d relegate this case to a junior.