From Within the FIREBIRD’S NEST ISBN: 9781370734900, Valkyrie Spirit Publishing, an e-book by Sheldon Charles.
The protagonist is Evan Davis, a former Air Force officer who turned to writing. His first novel is just below ‘Best-Seller’ but sufficient to gain an income and enough recognition to be offered contracts for more books. Because his earlier contract had garnered an unexpected and somewhat harrowing pre-novel journalistic assignment in Afghanistan followed by another to Kuwait, he was hesitant in signing. He receives an intriguing note, however, and cautiously agrees to speak with the sender. The sender is a man called Dieter, former member of Stasi, the German equivalent and of similar viciousness to the Russian KGB. Dieter enlightens him as to the existence of a diabolically apocalyptic project originally devised as a counter-strike of revenge should the U.S. attack Russia with atomic bombs. With the end of the cold war and the demise of the Old Russian Regime, the project was supposed to have been abandoned. However, one of the two remaining men who had devised the scheme still wanted revenge for loss of once held power and was attempting to set it in motion. He further was engaging an intelligent but somewhat naïve young Palestinian in a manner that would make the Americans believe they were the perpetrators. Briefly, the Crimson Firebird project consisted of having introduced ‘sleepers’, specially trained Russian children, into America. Here they lived and matured in a normal way until receiving encrypted instructions to initiate action. The action was to release Chimera K629, a deadly virus that was packaged in such a manner as to destroy the entire population within a short space of time. Shortly thereafter, it was keyed to self-destruct, so the country could simply be re-populated. Dieter had been able to discover and eliminate many of the cells, but required help with one ‘sleeper’ who now was a small town banker. Evan, as an news interviewer, could most convincingly get to know the man and hopefully persuade him to nullify his package.
Discussion: The author has set forth a quite complexly involved but fascinating tale of international intrigue, betrayal, deceit and treachery performed by persons often difficult for ‘normal’ individuals to understand, but totally credible with known facts of Stalin’s responsibility for imprisonment/death of more than a million Russians, the cruelty of the German Secret police and more. The action moves swiftly and well. The international action moves through Russia, Germany, Great Britain, America, and Palestine with reference to more. The characters are numerous, often intriguingly involved, interesting and believable including an American, non-Jewish (Methodist) member of Mossad.
Conclusion: A captivating thriller with closure but provision for entre to Evan Davis’ next adventure.
5* Captivating complex international thriller.