Iblis: Ahmed Al-Amin
Surrounded again by spirits and entities Hassan returns determined to learn why his father was killed. But, the story begins on a different note a man named Nicholas is searching for the right tool, slave or implement in the form of a young boy to train, create and manipulate into a warrior so deadly, filled with hate, fear and ruthlessness. As this young child falls prey to Nicholas and his wiles, his determination to escape is even stronger. But, first flash to Hassan and his quest to learn more about his father before all of the elaborate and intricate plots fit together.
Iblis. “In Islam Iblis is a jinni who refused to bow to Adam. The primary characteristic of the Devil, besides hubris, is that he has no power other than the power to cast evil suggestions into humans and jinn, although the Quran mentions appointing jinn to assist those who are far from God in a general context.” Imagine creating one in the form of a young child. Evil, demonic and brainwashed watch what happens when one young boy fights back as others try to brainwash him and control him for their own purpose. Hassan needs to find a way to learn more about his father’s death but many will die before he succeeds. Learning about the United Gulf Bank from his uncle, hearing how they merged with the Minerva Group, the loans they gave and who they gave them to, helps him construct part of his plan. Added in he reunites with Elizabeth, but his hold on her might be strong and their feelings quite intense but Hassan has work to do before he can remain with her.
Looking for help he turns to his friend Solomon who provides some answers but is in danger just because of Hassan’s presence. With the help of the souls and images of eight people that appear only to him, he is able to communicate his thoughts, they are able to protect him from harm and hopefully will keep him alive. Times get difficult and the one person that he counts on to help him winds up being taken in by the police. But, something happens when his friend Tony gets arrested and the police fall prey to a hired killer and Tony is eliminated and Hassan is determined to avenge his death too. The man claimed to be an Interpol officer but in reality was not. The Belgium. How would he find him and what will happen when he does? After being placed in a mental institution by his stepfather no one would believe that he was normal or sees these images. A psychiatrist by profession, seeing lost souls and hoping to find out where this killer might be is just the tip of the iceberg. Added in we see him on a mission to rescue a young girl and learn of the powerful force that the spirits provide. But, an old friend Adam, who lost more than just his limbs, saves him as he did him.
Solomon once a lieutenant provides him with some answers but has to answer to his superiors, which explains why he retired. Once again the author flashes back and forth to different periods of the main character’s life to reconstruct for the reader his past as we learn more about his present and future. Adam known as Shark came into his life when terrorists captured him and many others were destroyed.
Then we meet Shark, Adam whose life that was captured and tortured by terrorists. The author describes the tortures he endured yet he never fails and never give up. Each time the pain increases and the torture more severe yet he keeps going on with a strong mind and trying to condition his body to deal with the pain. Then we learn just how each of the ghosts met in real life and how they were sold out by someone that was supposed to protect and guide them. Deceit, lies, betrayals and much more within our military are just some of the issues brought to light in this novel. Just how does what Adam Goldfish endured not break him? How did he manage to survive?
Manipulating the police and controlling the investigation with the help of his ghosts Hassan is using everything he can to find out where the killer will strike next and how to bring him down.
Every step of the way we hear Hassan’s voice as he relates the experiences to the reader from the past and then in the present. We learn more about Adam and his ordeal, how he is finally free and what happens when he decides to go after James and seeks revenge against those that betrayed him. Hassan goes too far as the author once again flashes back to his meeting Elizabeth at school, understanding sign language but getting caught pretending to be deaf.
Fear, hate, adaptation: how would he create a person that would be able to withstand so much pain and train to become a killer that lives and breathes hate? How would be made or able to adapt to where he would become their vessel or tool. The boy was smart and yet Nicholas thought that he could manipulate his mind and after five years mold him into what he wanted him to become. Watching him carefully on videotapes the kid was able to find a place where he could call his own. Answering questions of the psychiatrist, he relates how he’s trapped in a room, watches every movement. His facial expressions are hard to read. When Nicholas felt frustrated and lost control he asked for help and hoped to receive it. Could this boy be brainwashed? Watch and listen to what happens when one of the guards tries to punish him? Watch and learn just how smart and dangerous he is. Attacking the guard and finding his way to the psychiatrist’s office her could sense her fear. All he wanted to do was protect his sister but when the truth about her is revealed everything changes for him.
With Adam helping him find a safe place Hassan still has many hurdles to overcome and hopefully he will get to what is really happening at the Minerva Company, the truth about who killed his father, his friend and who wants to rid the world of him. But, Hassan needs to break his connection with Elizabeth until he reconciles his life and where he is going next. Just how will he finally be free if ever? Who is following and tracking him and what devices are they using even though he is able to hide from cameras, surveillance equipment and has the help of the 8 souls.
David Gail is the new CFO of the Minerva group and under the control of Nigel Bronson. But, when David delves into the finances of this business and learns more about Nigel, David is convinced the CEO had something to do with the deal with the sheik starting his own business. But, his son-in-law works for the company and he warned him to not go anything and not get involved.
One hit man would make his presence known as Leal and Hassan meet and the truth about his father’s death is told in a way that will mystify readers. Leal is dangerous and uses his instincts to feel everything both inside and outside. Meeting with Hassan would prove quite enlightening for both. The psychiatrist in him kicked in as Hassan began analyzing him at first sight.
David Gail meets with Albert and tells him about an incident in the Paintball Park. As they discuss it even further David becomes angry and explains to Albert that he must consider his family and their safety when deciding his next move. Reminding him that he told him not to think the way he did. How would Hassan proceed when the spirits tell him he needs to give up? How would he get from Leal what he needed? How would he convince him that he knows his every move? The scene is flawless as you read the interaction between them and hear Leal; taunt Hassan and the interesting stories he tells and the story he tells about the kid. What happens when the kid finds his way to the Marry Magdalene orphanage and questions someone about his sister? What happens when the woman gives him an answer that would anger him so greatly that she will never recover from what he does?
A simple phone call to the police from a young girl would change the dynamics of Hassan’s world and possibly bring him down. But, Hassan will not give up and he finds his way to David’s office and hopefully some real help.
When David’s son in law is accused of embezzlement, and his being held somewhere until they decide his fate, why does Hassan claim that he can help him, get himself free and hopefully bring some closure into his life. But, not everyone or everything is as it seems and Hassan is possessed with avenging his father’s death and the death of his friend. What do you do when you come face to face with pure evil? How do you convince someone that you had nothing to do with the death of his family? As Hassan faces his own demons and the souls try to reason with him what happens will change it all for not only him but for others too. Captured, tortured and practically dead, fed poison and in no position to defend himself, can he count on anyone to come to his rescue? Why is this person after him and what does it have to do with Columbus? The technology described is quite advanced and the techniques used to discover information quite impressive but one person’s betrayals will set off a chain of events that creates an ending only author Ahmed Al- Amin can write. Fear in his eyes and at death’s door what happens at the end will not only surprise readers and make you wonder who is really behind what is happening at the Minerva and why? Who came to him and why? Whose lives are at stake? What role does the police play? Lies, betrayals, fears and deceits will come full circle before all is almost said and done. Just how this person knows all of about you won’t believe and neither will he. Can the souls save him from the hands of a killer? What happens when he’s confronted? Iblis: Pure evil: Albert, Hassan, The Mystery Kid, the CEO of the company, David, Freddy and the mystery man who wants to handle Hassan on his own: Whose evil shines through the most? Who is the real Iblis? Find out when the author pens the final chapter in the tetralogy.
This story will raise many important questions in the reader’s mind and might cause you to reflect on the choices that you made in your life. Hassan is a strong character but has flaws which make him human. The spirits are uniquely depicted in this original plot. Each spirit guides Hassan through the many missions and conflicts he faces hoping to provide the right information, guidance and help needed for him to survive. As I read this story I became so immersed in the plot and the many different characters that I often forgot that I was reading a manuscript and not watching a program on television as the images and scenes were vividly described. The inner most thoughts of Hassan helps the reader understand his rationale and thinking and having conflicts with the souls makes it even more real. This is the second in the tetralogy. If you did not read Psych you are missing the beginning of Hassan’s journey.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer