- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (April 10, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0312552203
- Source: Publisher
U.S. Department of Military Sciences Captain Joe Ledger and the Echo Team have been sent to Iran to rescue a group of American students held hostage. As the team ushers the students out of the country, Ledger learns of a number of nuclear bombs supposedly planted in oil fields across the Mideast. Ledger and his team are forced to race the clock, desperate to find these bombs before nuclear holocaust is unleashed. As always seems to be the issue with any case involving the Echo Team, the mission isn’t as simple as first perceived. Joe and his team learn of a group of genetically altered killers, a brotherhood that is centuries old, known to have been responsible for the brutal rape and killing of young women, all for the sake of securing the future of their lineage.
This news throws Ledger’s world view for a spin. As with previous books in this series, the reader is given a unique look inside the mind of Joe Ledger. He battles against three personalities buried within his mind (the modern man, the cop, and the warrior), desperate to maintain his sanity, and his soul, while fighting against some of the most brutal creatures the world doesn’t even know exist.
Aiding him in this case is a mysterious assassin, known to Ledger only as Violin. Normally she and Ledger would be sworn enemies, but their shared interest in putting an end to this hidden, evil war forces them to work together. It’s obvious that Violin has a personal interest in these creatures, just how personal is unknown until the very end.
Those wary of yet another vampire novel shouldn’t worry, for Maberry creates a league of vampires unlike no other, their existence is scientific, not supernatural.
One of the many things Maberry thrives at is rich characters. I was excited (okay, giddy) to see some of the past villains return, bigger and badder (if that is possible) than before. Additionally, the cast of the Echo Team return, this time with a few more members. I’d be remiss not to mention Ghost, Ledger’s dog and sidekick, who plays a particularly important role in this novel. Additionally, Maberry excels at providing a novel rich with action and intensity. This pacing continues throughout the entirety of the novel, unrelenting.
As this is one of a series of books in the Ledger series, while it can be read as a stand-alone I do encourage you to read the others in this series (Patient Zero, Dragon Factory and King of Plagues) so you are able to get a true sense of the evolution of Ledger’s character.
I should note that this is the first of the Ledger series that I have read in print as I listened to the audio book versions of the other three. That said, while I did enjoy reading Assassin’s Code I did miss Ray Porter’s narration of the story. I definitely plan on listening to audio book when it becomes available. Porter is Joe Ledger, no doubt in my mind.
Bottom line: Assassin’s Code continues my belief that Maberry is the king of horror/thriller novels. From zombies to genetic monsters and vampires, Maberry just goes to prove that monsters we (okay, I) grew up reading about aren’t always as they seem. He’s talented enough to put a completely unique spin on this horrible creatures, portraying them in a light never imagined. Highly recommended.