A chessboard has many pieces each one moving in its own path or direction. Pawns can move forward while others can move diagonally, side to side or even backwards. Champion chess players know how to manipulate their opponents into thinking that they just might win. But, most know the game really well and use the board, the pieces and the moves to overtake the one piece that no one wants to lose: THE KING! End of Game! Authors Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison create their specific moves in the title of each chapter. A true master will understand the strategies and will make sure that they follow the path to the win. Each chapter of this complex novel places the players in a vulnerable position as the authors create moves on a chessboard leading to the win for one opponent at the end.
Gold coins are the primary weapons within this complex novel’s plot. A terrorist organization called the Celebrants of Earth is at the heart of attacks. FBI Special Agent Michaela Caine and her partner Nicholas Drummond are the two primaries that will try to take this group down. Matthew Spenser is the creator of an organization called the Celebrants of Earth. A group run by this brilliant young man who at times becomes so caught up in his quest he forgets his major objective and oversteps his goals. A scientist by profession and out to avenge to death of his family murdered in a terrorist bombing attack of the London Underground, his goal is to stop the importing of oil from the Middle East. His method: bombing refineries without any deaths. But, things change quite rapidly as Matthew becomes involved with someone named Darius and the game changes. Richard Hodges makes the mistake of calling in a tip as Nicholas and Mike head off to Bayonne, New Jersey but are too late to stop the carnage that was about to happen. Bayway refinery went up on smoke but both Mike and Nicholas manage to save lives. This is where the Celebrants of Earth step up their game and turn on the heat but in a violent way. Never before did the kill and murder but now because of his new liaison with Darius, Matthew seems to be bent on changing the rules.
Vanessa Grace is a mole in the organization and the FBI, the police and other agencies are not aware the CIA placed her there as an undercover agent told to get real close to Spenser. When Mike explains her relationship with Vanessa and how they met information comes to light that she is posing as a bomb maker and integral part of COE. But, even though she thinks she is part of the group Matthew lets her know that she is nothing more than his pawn and the lowest piece on a chessboard that better follow his rules or is subject to whatever he deems needed. But, Darius is smart and with the greed factor playing a huge role and handing over piles of money, Matthew falls prey to his own insecurities and finds himself whether realizing or not a pawn in the plan too. Matthew decides that using the violent approach must might be the solution and with the use of a small part of one gold coin the end result is horrific.
Within this novel there is another plot that deals with a current issue that is always in the news. The Middle East situation never changes and when the Vice President is informed by her Israeli contact that she is a target for assassination what follows is right out of a CSI or Law and Order episode as each side of the government plays their hand and want to be top notch none concerned over the primary situation. Each agency wanting control and not wanting to share Intel. As Nicholas tries to stop COE and their attempt to crash the Richmond power grid his efforts fail and the lights go dark. Loyalties are tested and the Vice President realizes that she needs to step up her game as Spenser shoots Vanessa and Ian. Authors Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison step up their game as they take Caine and Drummond inside the mind of a terrorist hoping to get one step ahead of him yet not knowing where he might strike next. Imagine being able to hack into the power lines and bring down the lights all over the country. Imagine a hacker able to take down the oil companies and bring to a standstill. Trying to eliminate oil that is imported from the Middle East is their goal. But, before she is shot Vanessa shoots off a text that might help save lives but will hers end? Texting that she is concerned that COE is targeting a person in our government at a high level she changes it all.
Andy Tate is a computer genius and was able to bring down the oil companies but Nicholas was smarter and managed to undo his damage. But, Matthew began to flip out and his ego and need for revenge took over and his relationship with Darius won out over his loyalty to his friends. Director of Intelligence Templeton, Callan Sloan the Vice President, and other law enforcement members in one room but each one with their own private agenda as the next hit was being planned and the President was scheduled to be in Yorktown would Matthew succeed this time in killing him why Darius aimed for the Vice President? Ian McQuire was an IRA bomber and the head of the Londonderry branch. But, things take a turn and they leak the fact that Vanessa Grace survived being shot and hoped that Matthew would take the bait and come after her.
COE downloaded a ton of information on their servers and knew who was going to be in Yorktown and the President’s exact schedule. It they bombed it they would take out the oil company leaders and our leaders too. Middle East crisis on the forefront as Zahir Damari is on the loose and Nicholas and Mike racing the clock to stop what Matthew put in place. Just where are the gold coins and would they be set off again? As author Catherine Caulter brings Savich and Sherlock into the story and hopefully Savich can use his Intel and knowledge to help with the case. But, Caine and Drummond are the stars of this novel and their chemistry rises as the most unique moments. Practically reading each other’s minds Mike and Nicholas work together like a well-oiled ship. But, Agent Grace is questioned as if she was part of the master plot to blow up the refinery even though she is CIA why didn’t they share the Intel and let everyone know what was going down? Is she guilty of all of those lives that were lost?
Each player has his/her own moves and the chessboard is filled and the Bishop thinks he has the twenty moves to win the game. But, when the President’s plane is overtaken Nicholas has to think fast to try and regain control of Air Force One. Just why is Iran behind the assassination attempt of the Vice President? Just how will they stop what has been set in motion? Zahir is an assassin and Matthew lost sight of his vision when he too began a Pawn in the game to this master’s overall plan to deceive him. President Jefferson Bradley is heading home on his private jet but will he survive? Who was the real threat and what did Mossad reveal to Callan? Who else was involved? Money from Iran. Plans to take the oil companies down and a final deceit and you just won’t believe as the authors bring in Tony Scarlatti the Vice Presidents’ Head of Security. What happens when they all let their guard down you won’t believe? An ending so powerful it leaves room for the authors to bring back Drummond and Caine as the final result will change their lives and much more. Who is the best chess player? Who wins the final end game? Who will be crowned KING!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/ MJ magazine