The Shadow Project by Scott Mariani (Fiction)

posted 22 Feb 2010, 08:16 by DP Durlston-Powell   [ updated 9 Mar 2010, 11:16 ]
Backcover blurb:

An international conspiracy that could change the course of history... Ex-SAS hero Ben Hope is enjoying his new life in France, training others in the dangerous art of kidnap and rescue - until he is forced into providing protection for Swiss billionaire Maximillian Steiner. Steiner believes that a sinister neo-Nazi terrorist cell are targeting him to seize a prized historical document, one which could support claims that the Holocaust never happened. Delving deeper, Ben discovers that the group are also hell-bent on recovering a terrifying technology that has lain dormant since World War II. But when a shocking revelation about his own past throws his assignment into chaos, he must draw on all of his powers to halt the deadly plan. The stakes are global - and this time Ben is also fighting to protect the people closest to him...

Books from the same author:
The Heretic's Treasure by Scott Mariani (Fiction)

My thoughts:

So, to review the plot... Ben Hope's only chance to save his business is to lead a team of bodyguards in protecting a Swiss billionaire from Nazi extremists. The team is at Ben's training camp, but he makes no attempt to train them or brief them or even talk to them! Then the leader of the Nazis turns out to be the billionaire's daughter, except she is also Ben's sister that has not been mentioned in previous books, but who was kidnapped 23 years earlier and subsequently adopted by the billionaire. Oh, and she isn't really a Nazi, but a PhD-holding physicist that has turned her back on the 'corruption and hypocrisy' of the scientific establishment (which is apparently determined to silence criticism of the Big Bang theory amongst other crimes) and now makes pottery with her boyfriend. So that's alright then. Meanwhile a shadowy, unknown, wealthy criminal mastermind is trying to turn a Nazi free energy machine into a huge bomb within a huge underground Nazi complex that nobody knows about. You never see this mastermind, just his minions, but he will probably be Ben Hope's nemesis in a future story. Meanwhile, trained, dead-eyed, professional killers miss their targets even when both are stood in the same corridor. When they do manage to shoot a good guy, it's always in the shoulder and misses any bone whilst Ben's zippo lighter can shield him from machine gun fire! On the other hand, good guys can make cars explode by shooting them with a shotgun from 40 yards away, have 60 year old weapons work just when needed and kill people in cold blood whilst still being the heroes. And to cap it all, there's even a kid to save and the hero gets the girl in the end. To quote from the book, "...one unlikely event tripping the next like a line of dominoes. Absurd." So with plot holes you can drive a bus through, characters that are cliched at best and events that defy any suspension of disbelief, this is a book that cannot be taken seriously. It strikes me as the literary equivalent of an early Arnie film - absurd, violent and cheesy, but fun in a guilty pleasure sort of a way.

Verdict:

Proof that the Sunday Times Best Seller list is not necessarily a mark of quality.
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