Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Demeter Code, Third in Series, by Russell Brooks, Best Yet! Check out Ridley Fox and Nita Parris!

Meet Ridley Fox!

“Watch where you’re going, dammit,” snapped the woman. Doctor Nita Parris had bumped the woman’s shoulder as she passed through the revolving door, rushing from the street into the hotel lobby. Parris turned halfway around, raising an open palm. “Sorry.” But she wasn’t. The woman had the audacity to blame her. She was the one texting on her mobile while walking, and in a crowded room on top of that. Her teenage self would’ve cussed her out rudely, or even slapped the phone out of her hand. Not the typical behavior of a woman with a PhD in biochemistry. She could hear her aunt being vexed and breaking out the Barbadian accent. “Why yuh gunnah stoop to she level for? You better than dat.” Those were the days when Parris was quick-tempered and got into a lot of fights—and won them. Even some of the boys didn’t dare trouble her. She’d proven repeatedly that she could stand her ground with them, and even out-sprint them. When she’d wound up in the headmaster’s office—which had been frequently—he’d always ranted on about how bright a future she had, considering that she was one of the school’s top students. He’d pointed out that with her aptitudes she ought to be setting an example. But that was the past. 
She wouldn’t stoop to the level of some self-absorbed socialite. Especially when her asset was eight floors above, fearing for his life. Despite having spent the last five years living in the DC area, she had never been inside any of its hotels—even for an op. To anyone else in the lobby who happened to notice her, she was probably just another twenty-something black woman... 
Observers would likely think that she was either a guest, there on business, or a lawyer meeting a client. Either one was fine by her. Parris scanned the lobby on her way to the elevators. Aside from catching the occasional whiff of perfume or aftershave, she spotted two Wall-Street types, laughing over a beer, through the doorway of the hotel restaurant. On the opposite side, two children were chasing each other around their suitcases while their parents addressed the receptionist...

Parris licked her fingertip and ran it across both eyebrows. “Dewan, you see me yet?”
“I got you.” Dewan Douglas—her newest tech support—answered through her earpiece. He would’ve hacked into the hotel’s closed-circuit television long before she arrived—playing big brother from his safe haven at Langley, Virginia. It helped, but it wasn’t perfect. There were always spots the CCTV was blind to, and a professional would’ve been smart enough to hang out in those areas to avoid being seen. Parris brushed a strand of hair from her jacket sleeve. “Gym fanatic at seven o’clock.” 
“I saw him,” Dewan replied. “He arrived there with some chick, who’s now on her way down from their suite. They’ve been guests for the past four days, so I wouldn’t worry about him.” 
She trusted that Dewan would’ve used face-recognition software, to locate and identify Gym Boy through the hotel’s CCTV archives, and cross-referenced it with the hotel’s guest list. She headed for the elevator, grabbing her cell phone from her belt clip to call her asset, Tim Weyland. “Timothy?”
“Who…who’s this?” “You know who it is. I’m on my way up.” 
“Are you armed? Because I know they’re going to be coming for me with some very big guns.” He spoke fast, so he must be scared shitless. 
“You’re going to have to calm down and let us worry about who may be coming after you.” Parris pressed the elevator button. One of the six doors opened but it was already going down. She did a quick once-over of the three people who walked out. Nothing suspicious. 
“How can you tell me to calm down?” Weyland still spoke at warp-speed. “You’re not the one they’re trying to kill.”

The Demeter Code

By Russell Brooks

When I read Brooks' first book, and checked out some of his pics on site, I decided that this author could play his own main character! Don't you think?! And who better to play his partner, Nita Parris, fellow Canadian and the beautiful boss of the Forensics Lab on Bones, one of my favorite TV shows!

I was hooked by the first book, but I have to say that The Demeter Code is even better. Brooks has spent a lot of time reading research and his novel reflects this, as well as the reference list and interview information in his acknowledgments section. The topic is, in many ways, scary--one of those concepts that readers immediately realize that this could really happen... The result, therefore, had a world-wide impact--thankfully only in fiction.

Ridley Fox is fun, dedicated, but strong-headed. He wants answers--now. Nita Parris works to keep a balance in the team, but doesn't always succeed. What she does do is watch Fox's back, even when he's doing something, well, stupid, even if there is a good solid reason to do it! 

Tim Weyland was an asset being questioned regarding the whereabouts of Umari, a former CIA informant who had turned. It was Nita who was working with him, but Weyland was not doing what he'd been told and before long, they were both fighting off men who were trying to kill him. Now he was under medical care, hurt in that battle, and unable to help in locating Umari. 

“You kept him alive,” Fox said. “That’s what counts.” If there was one thing Fox admired about Parris, it was her tenacity. Like a pit-bull, once she sunk her teeth into her target she never let go. But he accepted her frustration, keeping in mind that Umari was originally a CIA informant who had turned. Using the skills he’d gained from his training, he had masterminded the bombings of two American Embassies and a cruise ship. While searching for him, the Agency discovered that a local security firm that Weyland worked for—Bismarck Securities—was bankrolling Umari’s activities. Weyland’s job was to hack into networks of Bismarck’s clients in order to test the strengths and weaknesses of their systems. Parris not only recruited him but was also his handler. For the past three months, he’d fed them intel every two weeks.

Fox, in the meantime, was on a similar mission to try to meet with Alghafari, a Syrian arms dealer... Fox would be going in as David Conlon, a mercenary who Fox had to take out. And for which he got chewed out by his superiors--in their work, killers were potential assets! He was accepted by Alghafari, having been willing to do small jobs from time to time, which could mean just about anything. And the first thing he was asked to do was to deliver a package! Which turned out to have everybody chasing after it!

Alghafari slid his empty glass toward Fox and got up. “For identification purposes, you’ll introduce yourself as Thor’s Hammer. Once the delivery is made your fee will be wired to your account.”
In other words, Alghafari would pay him once he’d paid himself. They shook hands and Alghafari and his goons left.

I had to chuckle at Ridley Fox, alias David Conlon, and now was using the introduction Thor's Hammer! This is just a small sample of the underlying humor in the novel...

In the meantime, one of his line superiors, who was looking to run for a higher office, was out to get Fox out of her hair if she could. Not liking his attitude, but using the psychological assessment that had been made years ago when Fox's fiancee had been killed, as the basis upon which she demanded that he be watched closely...

But now, an entirely new issue came to light. company secrets had been stolen from a company, Sementem. Collins needed money for his family and didn't know what else to do until he'd been approached by a European man to get the information... But it didn't take much time for him to find what he'd done was...deadly...for when he got home he couldn't find his wife and then the lights went out. He'd called her number thinking that was the easiest way to find her...but it had a new ringer playing a different song.

Collins and his wife were killed... The $200,000 he'd been paid had no use now, even though it had been deposited into his account...

And soon autopsies started be done and the bodies were filled with internal holes... And at Camp Iron Eagle in Afghanistan, there had been 13 bodies with the same probably first, results... This became the highest priority...

But a young employee had been blamed. Sparky was her name and Fox had to find her and then took unauthorized action to protect her...and...more... I have to admit I was captured at the end of the book as Brooks mentioned that this novel has his first sex scene in it! So, of course, I had to give you a glimpse if you want to take it before you read the book...LOL There are also other video readings from the book available on the authors utube videos or his site...

“We did autopsies. The lining of their stomach cavities were in terrible shape. They were all porous. I mean, God, I’m talking about dozens of holes. I thought at first that they had been exposed to some new chemical weapon, but that theory was ruled out.” 
“What brought on the allergic reactions?”
“I’m…I’m not sure.” 
“Then tell me what you are sure about.”
 “I…I believe that it may have been something they ate.” Grafton swallowed. “There was a food inspector, or quality control expert—whatever you want to call her—that was snooping around. The head of the dining hall couldn’t stand her, and General Jeansonne thought that she was becoming a nuisance. Jesus, she was only doing her job. They set things up to make her get the blame.”
 “They what?”
“She was set up. It was all a cover-up by the army. She had a nickname. Sparky, I think. She saw all the problems and potential health hazards in the dining halls and in the kitchens. And she cleaned things up. I mean, really cleaned things up.”

Parris hung up and did a U-Turn, heading back down the road to SR-37. On the way she drove by a sign indicating that sweet corn was for sale. She didn’t think anything of it at first, but something at the back of her mind told her that she should buy some—not for eating, but for a testing comparison to the soil samples she’d collect later on.

“I’m…I’m fine for now,” Parris answered, pausing between words as though she was catching her breath. “I’m getting the hell out of here.” Fox glanced over at Sparks, who was staring back at him. 
She obviously sensed that something was wrong by the tone of his voice. “What happened?” 
“I must’ve rattled some cages down here,” said Parris as her breathing became more under control. “Because the men who just pulled me over weren’t State Troopers.”

Whew! This intriguing bio-terrorism thriller becomes horrifying, just because of the premise upon which the story is based... It definitely surpasses the first two, but that comes down to the research and hypothesis upon which it is based. The basic characters, including Dewan, their computer expert, are exciting to see in action and do keep readers happy in their work against the enemy, but, for me, the terror came when considering the "what if" reality of Brooks' latest! The story is provacative, fascinating and down-right scary... Sure glad Ridley and Nita are on the job! Highly recommended!


Prior to becoming a writer, Russell Brooks considers himself fortunate that he had the opportunity to be an Indiana Hoosier Track Champion and Canadian Track Team member in both the 100 and 200 meters. It was during Brooks's travels across Canada, the United States, and Europe, that he came up with his story ideas and came up with outlines for his future thrillers which he would later writer.

His BS in Biology from Indiana University helped him to write his first spy thriller, Pandora's Succession,followed by the short story collection Unsavory Delicacies. The latest addition to the spy series is The Demeter Code. So far, it appears that this series is far from over. The standalone thriller, Chill Run, was released afterwards.

What makes Brooks's spy series unique is rather than focus on plots which strictly revolve around political matters—both domestic and international—Brooks is more creative by combining stories that are literally ripped from the headlines and weaving them with hardcore science and producing the most non-predictable plots imaginable. As a result, Brooks's works have been compared to those of a young Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, and even Dean Koontz.

Although his goal is to keep readers in suspense by writing edge-of-your seat and page-turning thrillers, he may occasionally dash off a short story, entertain viewers with dramatic readings, or play his violin.
Russell Brooks currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.
If you want to be kept up to date on Russell Brooks's activities—which include new releases, touring locations, speaking engagements and contests, please sign up to the mailinglist.

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