John Parker is a Graduate-qualified English/Spanish Teacher, owner and director of CHAT ENGLISH, an English Language Centre in Avilés on the north coast of Spain . A voracious reader, he has particularly loved horror fiction for many years.
This book has a really nice beginning way back in 1979 at an archaeological dig where an ancient scroll is found and immediately lost, thanks to the Iranian revolution. Jumping to present day, we see how an ambassador for the United Nations is infected by what seems to be a deadly virus. Are we in for a fear-inducing what-if nightmare, I thought? Gripping stuff.
We then shift to Croatia and are introduced to our hero, Hawker, an ex-CIA agent and the main part of the novel begins. This is Hawker’s third outing and it is not long before we are reintroduced to another protagonist of previous Hawker novels, Danielle Laidlaw. They soon find themselves up against a secret cult, led by a villain called Draco.
It’s a novel that never lets up, leading you from set piece to set piece. It all seems like a mash-up of Robert Langdon, Indiana Jones and James Bond. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it is a real page-turner. My main problem is that I could not really feel anything for the characters. Yes, there are moments where Brown tries to create empathy with the characters. A flashback to a scene between Hawker and an ex-love who appears in this book is a prime example. But everything is overwhelmed by the action scenes.
So, this is a book which I had absolutely no problem reading but has left me with nothing to remember or recommend to others. I had forgotten about it almost as soon as I had read it. The only way I would read the previous two novels in the series is if I happened to come across them by accident.