A prologue that sets the tone for a novel that will test your understanding of faith, trust, loyalty and deception because before all is said and maybe detonated you won’t know who you can trust and who is a dangerous mole. Vladmir Laksheva is dead or in the mind of his children he is gone. But, within the prologue you will experience the ability of a man arrested, tortured and capable of doing anything that any terrorist not on his side could do. A hood on his face, a window caved in and the sight of someone close to him but why is she here? A special Ops commander saved his life years before and now a man whose life would end because well wait and learn for yourself as author J.F. Kirwan takes us once again deep beneath the ocean on dives that are dangerous, heart stopping that will test the will, strength and trust of the many who will risk their lives in order to stop what someone wants to start within 37 hours but will they succeed?
How far would you go to save someone you love? Would you risk your life and spend time in prison in order to free your sister from the captivity she is enduring at the hand of a sadistic man? Nadia Laksheva when the book opens has been sequestered and hidden away in a prison for two years. Her freedom will come at a high price even if it means risking her life. Nadia is forced to dive down deep within the waters or remain in a secret British prison. There is a Russian nuclear warhead that was stolen by her enemy and powerful and dangerous terrorist that goes by the name The Client. As the story unfolds and she is once again reunited with her sister Katya, thinks she is home free until she learns she is not. The testing she undergoes, the rigorous but brief training for this mission will either make her or break her. Whoever this Client is the clock is ticking and within 37 hours this dangerous nuclear warhead/weapon has been programmed to explode in order to destroy London. If she willing to pull the final trigger? Thinking she is going to Chernobyl, winding up in Moscow, what the author creates in the underwater scenes will take you down deep quite a few metres, feeling the water pressure, the lack of air and the many times she has to hold her breath hoping that her team will be there to guide and help her through the tight areas she has to go through, will she survive this first leg or will she pay the ultimate price? For two years in solitary confinement by M16 for two years she thinks she is free again but not until this nuclear warhead is retrieved.
Single warhead is what is causing this problem but what you will learn is that there are many more. The Client or the man called The Salamander is the one behind this heinous plot and members of the team trying to take him out are playing both sides of the fence. Lorne who hates Nadia and is jealous of her relationship with both Sergei and Jake constantly finds reasons to arrest her and make her life difficult. Cheng Yi was the man behind Nadia’s first attack in 66 metres and his final words to her Happy in water air, lives in darkness. You won’t hear him coming. Salamander is enacting revenge on Nadia for the Rose. Next in Chapter 7 we learn something exciting and that is what happens when you dive with many different sharks, which I found fascinating and interesting. Learning bout the leopard and nurse sharks as well as what happens when you are down deep within the ocean’s depth and you have to deal with some of them, which are dangerous. Learning more about the final mission in Hong Kong the author reminds us that Salamander was going to meet a woman namely Blue Fan. Both disappeared and change their appearances and as her father relates to her on the plane after almost being killed by his second handler in Istanbul, her fled to Prague and plastic surgery. The relationships become clear as we learn that Cheng Yi’s ashes were buried in Hong Kong and that he is the son of Salamander who was killed by Nadia and Blue Fan is his daughter.
Why was he after her: first the Rose, second if one of his turns on him, he hunts them down first and then their family. It’s far from over yet and now she and her father have to separate one more time.
Katya has been captured and shacked as well as learning that someone close to her is a traitor. Bransk appeared to care for her but when realizing the truth. Bransk pulls out his gun, fires and glows someone’s head off and then Nadia gets to her feet and he is no longer stationary. Why is he trying to kill her when she thought he was on her side? Added in the author skillfully explains that Salamander is the master at the Chinese Go board game more complicated than Chess. Raising the stakes and the opponent responds and the outcome is a message for the colonel. Then we learn something about Sergei whom she thought was on her side and yet would learn the truth. First, Sergei came to and his head was rising but was wounded. Next, Salamanders eyes looked at him and the others with amusement. Her father now captured like her and the others appeared neutral and Katya was silent. The third thing that happens that spooked her the most Salamander smiled!
Why was thins happening? First there was supposed to be a G20 summit in London. The government, presidents, prime ministers are shown to be vulnerable. Next, no one would be safe except the major government can get a nuke. Even Iran does not have one but this lunatic can steal one right under the nose of G20, set it off and might get away with it. Added in this thing is “Under G20, Buried? Underground? But, will Salamander get a front row seat or will he be somewhere else? The real problem is that these world leaders at least the author relates some of them, know already and know about the threat do not call off the meeting or even think to evacuate London. The people are being deceived and betrayed.
The Colonel is not a big fan of Nadia and you begin to wonder at times why she is so impulsive or why they keep arresting her when she seems to know what needs to be come. The warhead is missing and he won’t call off the summit. A G20 threat and he’s stalling and the people of London seem expendable. 37 hours till judgment day. London will fall. They know @SMDR@UKGOV@RussiaGOV giving the countdown. The colonel saw six identical messages with different government addresses. Who is right? Who is wrong? Once again things get tense and her father, Katya and Bransk what would they do? Nadia is about to find out as she is once again handcuffed by M16 HQ and goes form Murmansk to Anspida to Chernobyl. What’s next? Going down deep is the only answer to find this warhead and the mole but not one wait until you learn whom the first one is and why they did not see the second hiding in plain sight. Like terrorists that join our country and becoming citizens there are many who you will learn joined this team to do just the same and destroy worlds and their people. Lorne becomes a target too but why? Once again she would have to dive deep down into the ocean’s depth to hopefully find the warhead. Two divers Greaves and Jones the one man that can defuse the bomb were with her but what happens sends her mind reeling back to Cheng Yi and something he said: you won’t see him coming? It also reminds her of what her father said: Assumptions create blind spots. A deadly dive, traitors within the depth of the ocean and seconds to go before the annihilation of millions of people in the world. The Epilogue reveals many truths and lies, as someone she thought could be trusted created the ultimate betrayal. Some survive, some are gone but Nadia has to learn the harsh reality of what all of the drugs might have done to her but she is not done yet. Will they catch the Salamander or is he too smart and will stop when he destroys her and gets not only the Rose but much more. Only the author and Nadia know for sure and you and this reviewer will have to wait until the next chapter is penned.
Characters that appear to be right out of what is being reported today in the news as once again author J.F. Kirwan takes us at least 44 metres down deep holding our breaths, wearing the right face masks and making sure our regulators are in place when needed and hoping at the end to see the surface one more time. Will Nadia ever see him coming?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine
I want to read this series as soon as I get caught up with my pile of books.