Arch Enemy (Dan Morgan #5), by Leo J. Maloney

Nine stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Leo J Maloney, and Kensington Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.

In a novel full of action and thrills woven into every chapter, Maloney brings Dan Morgan back for another adventure sure to entertain readers. When a man dies in a freak elevator accident at Acevedo International, there seems to be more to it than meets the eye. Acevedo has been involved in international weapons and drug smuggling and on the radar of the FBI for some period of time. Enter Dan Morgan and the Zeta Group, who track the core of the smuggling ring to the African continent and seek to sever the ongoing shipments. While he is off dealing with this, Dan’s daughter, Alex, is limping her way through college, literally, and trying to find her niche. When she is approached by Ekklesia, a group seeking to promote social justice and undermine the corrupt world of business, she does all she can to help, in hopes of making a difference. As the elder Morgan receives his next mission, he learns that the Legion of Erebus, a collection of ultra-powerful hackers, has begun wreaking havoc, with America in its sights. Morgan is tasked with uncovering the Legion’s ultimate plan by interrogating their purported leader, Praetorian. However, something goes wrong and Praetorian is on the lam, controlling hacker cells all over the country. A master plan is in the works, but no one appears clear as to the event. When Alex learns that Ekklesia is but a distraction front for the Legion, she begins to work with her father and Zeta to bring the entire plan to its knees. However, nothing is a simple ‘plan and execute’ in the world of technology where hackers are involved. Maloney brings action, suspense, and just the right amount of humour to this piece and is sure to capture more fans after readers take the time devouring this novel. 

While Maloney is surrounded by many other great authors in his covert-operative thriller genre, he is able to distance himself in a number of ways. By using this novel to propel three simultaneous storylines forward, only to have them eventually converge, he shows a strong ability to keep readers curious and seeking to learn more. His use of succinct chapters leaves the reader hanging, but also helps to push the story along, while not revealing too much in a short period of time. Use of multiple characters, who both converge and diverge through their various plots, keeps readers entertain and interested, while not splitting concentration too thinly in any single direction. Maloney does not focus solely on the ‘shoot ’em up’ variety of covert-operative thriller, but also a mystery of sorts and a race against the clock. It is refreshing to see some new and 21st century terrorism that does not mention 9/11, al Qaeda, or ISIS, but chooses to draw attention to something that technology has fostered and that could be worse, infiltration of highly specific computer programs. Maloney handles the topic with ease and does wonders at keeping his readers connected to the story, while not going overboard with the father-daughter connection found herein. A wonderful piece of work that is sure to impress many when it hits bookshelves. 

Kudos, Mr. Maloney for another great novel. I am a fan and hope you will keep writing such addictive pieces so that I can spread the word to many others.