Threat Level Alpha (Dan Morgan #7), by Leo J. Maloney

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Leo J. Maloney, and Lyrical Underground for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Leo Maloney is back with another novel in the Dan Morgan series, pushing the limits while enthralling the reader with this high-impact story. The Zeta Division has changed significantly over the last number of years, particularly with some of the hard work that Dan Morgan has put in to make this elite organisation extremely effective while remaining covert. Choosing to take a well-deserved holiday with his patient wife, Morgan counsels Alex, his daughter and one of Zeta’s newest operatives, to watch herself over the next little while. Alex Morgan may be young but she is prepared to handle any situation tossed at her. When Zeta learns that a biochemistry professor, nicknamed Dr. Armageddon, has been espousing a virus that kills the entire human population to create a ‘reset’, Alex is sent to infiltrate the group and learn all she can about any future plans. While she soaks up the college life, her parents are chased down by a group of Russian operatives, whose target is surely Dan Morgan. While he expects trouble, this is an old friend/foe seeking Morgan’s help with a piece of highly delicate intel. It would appear a Chechen terrorist group has gathered old Soviet documentation on a biological weapon that could wreak havoc on large portions of the population. These terrorists must be stopped at any cost or things could go sour quickly. Just as Alex seems to be making headway posing as a college student, the Chechens arrive on campus to force Dr. Armageddon and a group of students to work on the Soviet weapon or die trying. Morgan must keep his cool while waiting to hear what is going on, knowing that Alex’s life could be in extreme danger. If this were not enough, a terror group in the Philippines has stormed into an international gathering, seeking to maximise the body count to make a point. Maloney has done it again with this stellar read that pulls the reader into the middle of this entertaining piece. Those who enjoy the Dan Morgan series will surely want to get their hands on this novel, as will readers who enjoy stories that mix espionage and political intrigue.

I am always in the mood for Leo J. Maloney’s work, as it weaves an exciting story and does not let the reader breathe until the final sentence. Maloney has a way not only with words, but is also able to engage the reader with strong writing and believable dialogue. Dan Morgan takes a backseat in this novel, forced to wait as his daughter tries to extricate herself out of one of the most harrowing experiences in her young life. Alex proves to be not only an endearing character, but also has the grit needed to make it in the Zeta Division. Her passion for the work and ability to blend in proves to be the perfect mix. Alex comes out of her shell and proves that she can emerge from the shadow cast by her father, surely a formative point in the series. There are other strong characters whose secondary role help push the story forward while ramping up the action as well. Working two key plots in tandem, Maloney forces the reader to pay close attention, as each storyline has its own importance to the overall advancement of the series. The novel moves away from some of the traditional ‘terrorist’ pieces, turning not only to a Russian enemy, but also new forms of weapons. Looking towards biological warfare, Maloney hints at what might be to come, if not in reality, then at least in this genre that is jam-packed with authors striving to ascend to the top of the pack. Maloney is there and with more stories of this nature, he is sure to remain there for the foreseeable future.

Kudos, Mr. Maloney, for another great novel. I cannot say enough about your writing and hope others will discover you soon!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: