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by Ben Coes
HarperCollins, January 2021
432 pages
ISBN: 125014082X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

THE ISLAND is Ben Coes' 9th novel featuring the government's secret weapon: Dewey Andreas. The author hints at the character's prior exploits, which include assassinations and covert activities, and gives a bit of background about some of the personal losses our hero has endured in the past. But the book mainly focuses on what Andreas has to deal with in the present. The terrorists—who in this case are Hezbollah and Iranian—have devised a diabolical plan to destroy all ways in and out of Manhattan, murder people indiscriminately, assassinate the President—who will be speaking at the United Nations--and then destroy America's monetary system. To accomplish this last but most deadly task, they must get the thumb prints and retinal images of the four Governors of the Federal Reserve. Rather than kidnap the four governors, each is murdered and then the murderer cuts off a thumb and gouges out an eye. These brutal encounters of killing and dismemberment are interspersed with the other on-going events. Sleeper cells of terrorists have been put into play, and there are hundreds of gunmen shooting and killing everyone they see in the streets of Manhattan.

Because Andreas is such a skilled operative, he is a target for elimination. Before the Manhattan attack, earlier in the day, Andreas had walked into an ambush at a local café near his Washington DC home. He manages to kill all his would-be killers and emerge relatively unharmed. This fight is the first of many horrendous battles between Andreas and the bad guys. Fans of this series will be happy to note that it is as violent as ever, with so many attackers that the author must rely on stereotypes to describe them. However, the fact that he was targeted makes certain of the political elite wary of a possible terrorist attack. Not everyone believes this to be true and so precautions are not taken.

Just as Andreas is beginning a new romance on a yacht in New York Harbor, the attack begins and he is called away to try desperate measures to find and save the President. He borrows a motorboat and charges up the East River—and the body count increases. Heads are blown off, knees are blown out, and hearts are pierced with bullets before Andreas can make his way into the partially destroyed United Nations building.

There are many more encounters and many people we have hope for do not make it. It becomes clear that the real purpose of the whole attack is to get into the monetary system and destroy it. This must be dealt with as a top priority, and the details of this endeavor are riveting. All in all, THE ISLAND is an excellent addition to the Dewey Andreas series and will be enthusiastically received by the author's many fans.

§ Anne Corey is a writer, poet, teacher and botanical artist in New York's Hudson Valley.

Reviewed by Anne Corey, December 2020

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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