Six hundred years later, the saga continues – Retribution: Caliphate.

The book is set in a very contemporary Europe which has inherited a dark history namely through the Spanish Inquisition.

The Inquisitor and the Maiden: Caliphate, the first in the series,  was an epic set in a time that the author walked us through with panoramic visions of blood and gore and a story based on historical facts.

The two books fuse together as the current Sultan tries to right the wrongs of his family’s past. He’s almost dreamy eyed about reviving the power of his family’s former glory. The acrimony of his family being kicked out of Spain goads the Sultan to commit crimes that will far outweigh any performed during the Inquisition.

Unlike his ancestors, the Sultan’s  fight isn’t so clear cut and rival countries have vested interest in various outcomes. Will terror reign supreme?

The Spanish copper has his own score to settle too.He lost his son to a  terrorist bombing and his wife is depressed. With a tip-off from an Iranian scientist on the nuclear program, now he has a chance to deal with the terrorists on his terms. It’s not going to be pretty. But he doesn’t lose sight of his goal and keeps his investigations professional to the end.

He brings in the CIA. He’ll need their help  to fight off corrupt officials who will do anything to stop him following the scent of the planned nuclear attack.

The local  CIA operative isn’t going to lay down and surrender either.

His hiatus in Spain has ended and he’s now doing what he’s trained for. Guns will be blazing as the operative and two Spanish police try and locate where the two nuclear bombs have been stored  – the first one is to be detonated on Christmas Day.  Early shootouts, great boom boom action, you get an idea that the CIA operative is no pushover, right Mike?

Iran features in the book. The author knows it intimately, and he has too, for a story like to this to be pulled off with any credibility. It’s so credible that you get the feeling the author has spent some research time in Tehran on some dark ops.

The Iranian scientist hasn’t forgotten how his brother died unnecessarily for the cause of the Mullahs. He’s starting to question if there really is a God. The haunting dreams of his brother’s death open up a portal into the mind of the scientists. It helps us understand why he surrenders information of the planned nuclear attack on two Spanish cities to the police and why he wants to defect to the USA.

Retribution is written in the gritty tradition of the author’s first book,  Harry’s Rules.

The author was a clandestine operative for 28 years in the CIA. This and his other books are an insight into the inner workings of a CIA  operative and perhaps the author.

‘If you’re not reading Mike’s novels,’ says another international crime writer, Jake Needham, ‘you’re really missing something. This guy is the real deal.’


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