Book Reviews,  Extra

THE EXTINCTION AGENDA, by Michael Laurence

Published by St. Martin's Press

An FBI agent fights to stop a conspiracy to unleash a deadly virus on the world in this propulsive, exhilarating new thriller.

The discovery of a deadly virus being smuggled across the border pits FBI Special Agent James Mason and his strike force against an unknown adversary hell-bent on humanity’s destruction. In a desperate effort to contain the pathogen, they launch a predawn raid, only to find that their enemy knows they’re coming…and it’s not about to be taken alive. An explosion rips through the building, killing the majority of Mason’s team, including his partner and mentor.

Tormented by guilt, Mason returns to his home division, but he can’t seem to let go of the tragedy. He remembers seeing something inside the building before it went up in flames, something that convinces him that not only is the virus still out there, it’s merely the first stage of an even more nefarious plan. Obsessed with unraveling the plot, he launches his own investigation and uncovers a shadow organization on the brink of enacting its genocidal agenda, one carried out by a sinister mass murderer who’s been photographed at the epicenter of seemingly every historical pandemic…without appearing to age. An evil man who attempts to derail Mason’s investigation by murdering his wife.

With the help of his longtime friends—Gunnar Backstrom, a corporate espionage gun-for-hire, and Ramses Donovan, a sin merchant of questionable morality—Mason’s hunt for his wife’s killer leads him from a dark union at the dawn of the twentieth century to a network of Nazi collaborators and a conspiracy against mankind more than a hundred years in the making. Fueled by anger and driven by the promise of vengeance, he must overcome a monster preparing to unleash his virulent wrath upon an unsuspecting world if he’s to have any hope of exposing a deep-state entity that’s rooted in every facet of our society, an entity known only as…The Thirteen.

4.5 Stars

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Horror After Dark Review

THE EXTINCTION AGENDA (The Extinction Agenda #1), by Michael Laurence is a thriller novel that blends in psychological horror, medical and chemical warfare, crimes–both against humanity and personal–along with police procedural. In short, it’s a book that touches upon so many sub-genres that there’s something for virtually everyone here.

“They say the meek shall inherit the earth, but he was convinced it would be the flies.” 

My personal favorite was the dash of dark humor.

We begin with an FBI Investigation that touches upon some gruesome, covert operations. Special Agent James Mason manages to survive that encounter, but it is one that will continue to haunt him. When we pick up his life a year later, several different sub-plots are brought up. However, there’s enough of a thin thread weaving throughout them for the reader (and James) to realize that there will be an awful lot of unraveling to do.

“. . . Paranoia is highly underrated. It’s an attribute you generally only hear people ascribe to the living.” 

The action takes place between several different locations, and the main plot had enough graphic details to satisfy even horror fans. Laurence does his research to such a degree that the “incidents” in the book feel all too terrifyingly possible. I was able to completely immerse myself in the events, and follow along with the plot (and sub plots) that allowed me to completely suspend any disbelief.

“. . . The key is to find the proper leverage to bend any situation to your will . . . “ 

I enjoyed this mix-up of characters. Their individual personalities not only matched their “personal profiles” but they were able to offset each other and compliment the other characters’ strengths. I was particularly drawn to Mason, as the events he’d been through showed him as “flawed”, and vulnerable at times–the sort of person you could honestly relate to.

“. . . the right choice wasn’t always the easy one . . . it was often a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils.” 

While THE EXTINCTION AGENDA is the first in a series, I felt that the “conclusion” to this book was solid. Yes, there is enough to leave you anticipating the next book, but the events that I needed “closure” to were appropriately addressed. As a standalone, this novel certainly exists upon it’s own merits.

“. . . Sometimes people have to die so that others can live. 

Overall, a strong novel that introduces us to some dynamic characters, and deadly threats all too real in today’s society.

Recommended.

About The Author

Michael Laurence was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado to an engineer and a teacher, who kindled his passions for science and history. He studied biology and creative writing at the University of Colorado and holds multiple advanced certifications in medical imaging. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked as an x-ray/CT/MRI technologist and clinical instructor. He lives in suburban Denver with his wife, four children, and a couple of crazy Labrador Retrievers.

Kimberly

I am an avid reader/reviewer and collector of books--primarily horror, supernatural, and supernatural-themed thrillers.

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