Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Catching up: PHASE FOUR by Gary Carson (2011)

Phase FourPHASE FOUR is an intense thriller than lends itself towards the post-apocalyptic without reaching into the nether realms of the surreal.

Drake, a member of a covert government agency is embroiled in a conspiracy that has dire ramifications for mankind, only he doesn’t know it.

When a highly dangerous substance is high jacked from a suspicious convoy, Drake and his team are brought in to find those responsible. Thoughts of terrorists and chemical warfare are immediate yet the focus of the investigation leads Drake straight to the President of the United States at a function he’s attending in San Francisco. From there he’s to track down the head of the transportation company, presumed to have leaked details of the convoy to a known terrorist. Before long hell’s broken loose and reality shifts to the unreal.

PHASE FOUR is well paced and reads like a big budget action thriller. The characters are believable if not a little too conveniently  placed at times and a tad bit stereotypical. Despite this, I found myself connecting with Drake and his adversaries – the others not so much.

The notion of a government wanting to change the world to serve a better purpose without delving deep into a whole new genre was smart. Author Garry Carson keeps the action full throttle while slowly drifting his characters towards his end game – one that I hope includes further exploration of the world post the events of PHASE FOUR.

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