The Extinction Agenda
Author: Micheal Laurence
Date of Publication: September 3rd 2019
Publisher: St. Martins Press
An FBI agent fights to stop a conspiracy to unleash a deadly virus on the world in this propulsive, exhilarating new thriller
The discovery of a deadly virus being smuggled across the border pits FBI Special Agent James Mason and his strike force against an unknown adversary hell-bent on humanity’s destruction. In a desperate effort to contain the pathogen, they launch a predawn raid, only to find that their enemy knows they’re coming…and it’s not about to be taken alive. An explosion rips through the building, killing the majority of Mason’s team, including his partner and mentor.
Tormented by guilt, Mason returns to his home division, but he can’t seem to let go of the tragedy. He remembers seeing something inside the building before it went up in flames, something that convinces him that not only is the virus still out there, it’s merely the first stage of an even more nefarious plan. Obsessed with unraveling the plot, he launches his own investigation and uncovers a shadow organization on the brink of enacting its genocidal agenda, one carried out by a sinister mass murderer who’s been photographed at the epicenter of seemingly every historical pandemic…without appearing to age. An evil man who attempts to derail Mason’s investigation by murdering his wife.
With the help of his longtime friends—Gunnar Backstrom, a corporate espionage gun-for-hire, and Ramses Donovan, a sin merchant of questionable morality—Mason’s hunt for his wife’s killer leads him from a dark union at the dawn of the twentieth century to a network of Nazi collaborators and a conspiracy against mankind more than a hundred years in the making. Fueled by anger and driven by the promise of vengeance, he must overcome a monster preparing to unleash his virulent wrath upon an unsuspecting world if he’s to have any hope of exposing a deep-state entity that’s rooted in every facet of our society, an entity known only as…The Thirteen.
I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Ok, so where do I begin? When I requested the book, I had extremely high hopes for it. The premise was good, the hero sounded like a man with a mission and it seemed to have enough thrills that I would enthralled to last the duration of the story in complete rapture. Unfortunately, no such luck. I don’t enjoy negatively reviewing books, but this really wasn’t my thing, it was a hard limit.
I’ve read books like these before and from just reading the synopsis, I had envisioned a Jack Reacher style plot. It just fell flat. You had all the key elements of an outstanding thriller – broken hero in the market for revenge, conspiracy and pseudo-science. Should have been quite literally fool-proof, the cover and the synopsis really did cover up a multitude of sins. The first chapter did lay the foundation relatively well – credit where its due. However, our PTSD suffering hero seemed to have the personality of a wet weekend and had zero relatable qualities that made me gravitate towards even remotely liking him. I felt nothing for him, nothing, nada. For me to connect to a story, I need to connect to the characters and just felt that his dialogue was extremely wooden. I often found myself skimming sections of chapters which then increased to skimming chapters because the author seemed to overuse exposition a lot. Chapters were overflowing with explanations for no other reasons than filling the page, or at least that’s how it seemed. I had hoped that the supporting characters would provide some edginess or humour to the dialogues but that failed to materialise also.
The thriller part wasn’t too thrilling. There was no mystery, no suspense and it was mainly just cut and dry, I would have loved to have some whacky red herring thrown into the mix, but it just left me feeling, well, meh. Not at all what you want in a Thriller novel. I think overall it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I like to be shocked, entertained and thrilled. None of it hit the mark and I wouldn’t find myself recommending this book.