At the top of the cover of SecondWorld, thriller writer Steve Berry advises ‘Plan to hunker down for an all-nighter with this one. I did.’ Having devoured SecondWorld by Jeremy Robinson during every available moment that was left to me once working, eating and sleeping had robbed their share, I can attest to the validity of this declaration. This novel is one of the most unputdownable thrillers that I have ever read. It is as if each page battles with the one preceding it to contain the most thrills – a competition in adventure, which leaves the reader sitting fixated, gripped, and finally abandoning that reader to the unhappy unavoidable truth that all books must end. It is a sad fact that dull books can take an awful long time to read but fast, exciting novelistic rollercoasters are gone far too soon.
As with any scifi technothriller, it is important that you leave all cynicism to one side. If you can’t suspend your disbelief and allow yourself to be entertained and shocked while being dragged along at the speed of sound, then give it up right now. But if you can, then SecondWorld could well be for you.
Our hero, ex-Navy SEAL and special agent Lincoln Miller, is being given some well-deserved rest in a busman’s holiday monitoring the oceans in an underwater observatory off the Florida Keys. When he sees red matter fall through the water to the seabed, he has to investigate, especially when all the fish who feed on this material appear to die. When the body of a dead blue whale is wrapped by the current around the observatory, destroying it, Miller has to escape in a hurry. He rushes to the surface only to find the sea covered in red and the air is empty of oxygen. With limited air in his tanks and only his wits and his training to get him through, Miller manages to make his way to the mainland of Florida and finds everyone in Miami dead. Or nearly everyone…
Later, Lincoln Miller discovers that Tel Aviv and Tokyo have also been devastated with just the recordings of local TV stations to document the demise of their citizens. This is no natural disaster, instead it is the result of a conspiracy of decades. The President of the USA has noone to trust, except Miller, the one man who walked out of a destroyed Miami. Miller and a small group of experts have no choice but to piece together the clues and chase the threat across the world. The clock is ticking and the world is living on borrowed time. The odds against them are enormous.
I will say no more because this is a thriller that has surprises around every corner.
SecondWorld has it all. To go back to Steve Berry on the cover: ‘frozen Nazis, UFO crashes, Antarctica and some really cool science’. But it has much more than these compulsive thrillery elements, it has a bunch of fascinating well-rounded characters. Each is distinctive and memorable. Each has their own voice and back story and I would quite happily read a novel with any of them at its core. The thriller is also well written. It contains emotion, excitement, terror, preposterous villainy, deadly danger and fantastic set pieces and environments. The novel is impressively plotted and complex, to say the least, and yet it is easy to follow. In fact I found it impossible not to follow. It urged me on.
How sad I was to see SecondWorld end. But Jeremy Robinson is a speedy writer and so I have hopes, as yet unfounded, that we will see Lincoln Miller return.
SecondWorld is a standalone thriller so I would recommend you grab it by the pages, be prepared for anything and take flight.
I’m delighted to report the novel has just been released in the UK on the kindle.