Book talk: Conspiracy novels


This week Jeff Popple reviews three novels about conspiracies big and small.

Absolute Proof by Peter James

Macmillan, $29.99

Peter James’ latest novel starts with the intriguing premise of what would it take to prove the existence of God? Battered investigative reporter Ross Hunter is given the chance to find out when he is contacted by an academic, Harry Cook, who claims to have definite proof. Hunter half-heartedly decides to investigate, but a series of violent events makes him believe that Cook may be right and sets him off on a dangerous pursuit that threatens his life. This big, bold conspiracy thriller offers plenty of action and some interesting theological speculation and will appeal to fans of Dan Brown.

Red War by Kyle Mills

Simon & Schuster, $32.99

Vince Flynn died back in 2013, but Kyle Mills has continued his series of popular novels featuring American assassin Mitch Rapp. When Russian President Maxim Krupin learns that he has inoperable brain cancer he sets out to settle old scores with internal political rivals and America. Rapp is sent on a near impossible mission to stop Krupin before he starts a nuclear war. This high voltage thriller sets a cracking pace from the opening pages and showcases Mills’ in-depth knowledge of military technology and ‘black-ops’ missions. Some will find the political slant disturbing, but it is easy to just settle back and be entertained.

Bad Blood by E. O. Chirovici

Serpent’s Tail, $29.99

The conspiracy in Bad Blood is on a smaller scale, but no less enjoyable. Psychologist James Cobb is an expert in recovering lost memories via hypnosis. He is intrigued when he is approached by Joshua Fleischer, a very wealthy man who is dying from cancer. Forty years ago, Fleischer woke up in a Paris hotel room with a murdered woman and no memory of what happened. He fled Paris, but now wants to find out what really happened that night by having Cobb access his memory. This intriguing and cleverly constructed novel will keep you guessing all the way to the end. Highly recommended.

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