'Shadow Knight's Mate'
By: Jay Brandon
(Paperback / Wings Press / 320 Pages / $16.95)
Description: This novel of international espionage begins with a bizarre terrorist attack meant to discredit a secret society that has been attempting to steer historical events for more than a century. Jack Driscoll, a member of the society, and Israeli security specialist Rachel Green partner up with a sexy but mysterious woman in order to prevent a second attack, this one intended to disrupt a global economic summit in Europe. Together they must make sure the president of the United States attends the summit while keeping him safe from assassins who would like nothing more than to start a world war by killing the leader of the free world while he is on foreign soil.
Verdict: The most intriguing book I have read this year, 'Shadow Knight’s Mate' is author Jay Brandon’s newest novel - and it is an engaging and well thought out continual page turner; trust me. An espionage thriller, it represents a departure from his usual legal thrillers, giving us a fun, genre-bending ride that will keep you tuned in from start to finish.
The departure, in main, is that in the past, Brandon has set his novels in San Antonio, his home town, and other Texas locales. However, in 'Shadow Knight’s Mate, the characters gambol across the globe. This larger canvas lends itself very well to the multi-national political issues with which this book grapples. In a fresh and deeply satisfying twist of narrative, the U.S. is not portrayed as “The Great Satan.”
Jack, the protagonist, is a member of an elite, secret group called “The Circle.” For centuries they have been artfully manipulating the course of history. Circle members have managed to do this by being nondescript and blending in. From every walk of life, the members’ carefully-cultivated blandness is their cover and protection. They are the most subtle super heroes ever. Ergo "The Circle" is a shadowy American organization that basically runs the planet!
When an unprecedented attack on U.S. citizens threatens the global status quo, Jack and Arden, his co-Circle member and romantic interest, race across time zones and continents to find out who is trying to destroy “The Circle” and the world. The action is fast-paced with several unexpected twists and turns, as Jack must wrangle with forces of evil determined to bring the United States to its knees. And several doppelgangers who’ve been gallivanting around Europe, up to no good, impersonating him, of course!
Throughout 'Shadow Knight's Mate', Jack is smitten with a young woman who is also affiliated with "The Circle," but he doesn't trust her. "The Circle" members send her with Jack because of her intuitive abilities. In the end, Jack was wise not to trust her completely, but she does prove helpful in finding and bringing down the villain. I highly recommend this book and all it stands for, because in this day and age, and with the sun finally poking through here in Spring, it's all about a great read in the back garden - and this book is just that.