The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation. Erec Stebbins has recently added book #5, Androcide to the Intel 1 series.
Andro- the Greek prefix meaning male, man, or masculine
Cide- Latin origin suffix meaning killer, or the act of killing
Erec Stebbins begins his latest in the Intel 1 series with a rather gruesome murder in New York City. The victim, a known serial rapist, appears to be brutally beaten with what appears to be bruises all over his body and most noticeably his private parts have been removed. The detective on the scene is Tyrell Sacker along with two junior detectives that Sacker is training. It isn’t long before another victim shows up and Sacker has no leads to the murderer until he meets Private Investigator Grace Gone. Gone is a unique character and has an uncanny ability of seeing clues that everyone else seems to miss.
For those of you not familiar with the series, Intel 1 is a covert government agency that specializes in protecting the US from its most dangerous threats. The agency is headed by John Savas, a former NYPD cop. Other operatives include Rebecca Cohen, Savas’ wife and a former FBI counterterrorism operative; Angel Lightfoote, Intel 1’s computer expert with an unusual personality; Sara Houston, a former CIA operative; and my favorite character, pistol whipping padre Francisco Lopez, a former priest turned warrior. In Androcide, Intel 1 is dealing with the fallout that happened in the previous novel, The Nash Criterion. (spoiler alert for Nash Criterion) In The Nash Criterion, Intel 1 uncovered a sinister organization of intellects known as the Bilderberg that had designs on ruling the world. One of the most notorious member of the organization, with the code name Nemesis, escaped and is the focus for the latest escapade of Intel 1.
As I was reading Androcide, I kept wondering how the murders that were occurring in NYC could have any relation to Intel 1. Two storylines were going on at the same time, Sacker’s investigation of the murders, and a raid on a supposed underground hideout of Nemesis in Tehran, Iran by Intel 1. It is about halfway through the novel before the two storylines merge and is it a whopper.
There is a little of everything in Androcide; a perplexing whodunit, a story of international intrigue, and fascinating technology which makes for a whole lotta fun. Two new characters are introduced and I am sure that we won’t be seeing the last of them. Perhaps they will be a part of Intel 1 or a new series, we will just have to wait and see. A word of caution, if you are a big fan of the latest administration, then you may want to skip Androcide. Stebbins description of some of the political characters is a thin disguise for some more real life politicians and I have a feeling they are going to be the evil dudes in the next installment of the series.
Though this could be read as a standalone, it would be more enjoyable if the rest of the series was read first.
Androcide will be released tomorrow, September 26th.
To learn more about the series check out the Intel 1 series.