Who you gonna call when a dastardly terrorist cabal kidnaps the foreign ministers of China, India and the U.S.? Master thief and CIA alum Robin Monarch, of course. He’ll shake things up for sure.
When Secretary of State Agnes Lawton is snatched, together with her Indian and Chinese counterparts, from a hush-hush meeting aboard the oil tanker Niamey, her husband, Bill, strenuously opposes President Robert Sand’s plan to pay Monarch and his team $15 million to rescue her. But it’s actually a bargain, since the Sons of Prophecy, who claim responsibility, demand $500 million, plus the release of all political prisoners, for each of their three hostages. Dogging the footsteps of James Bond and dozens of wannabe Bonds, Monarch tangles with Vietnamese security forces during his inspection of Niamey, follows a clue to the Apocalypse Now Bar, arouses the ire of Shing-Tun triad leader Long Chan-Juan, the sinister Moon Dragon who pulls the strings from Hong Kong, and generally raises hell wherever he goes. Bashir Rhana, Monarch’s counterpart from India, soon departs the action, leaving Song Le, of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, as the Bond girl. As she and Monarch question fences, mercenaries and arms dealers who lie, squirm, then try to kill them, the Sons of Prophecy step up their game, sabotaging the Suez and Panama canals, and the clock ticks down toward the moment when the secretary of state and her fellow diplomats will face the scimitar. An extended epilogue sorts out exactly who was responsible for which double cross for the benefit of those who care.
As in Monarch’s debut (Rogue, 2012), veteran Sullivan throws every popcorn-movie cliché you can think of into the mix. The result is the most soothingly predictable geopolitical thriller imaginable.