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The Helios Conspiracy Hardcover – February 28, 2012
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"After reading this terrific book, mystery fans will hope that the prolific DeFelice, best known for military and techno-thrillers (some co-written with Stephen Coonts, Larry Bond and Richard Marcinko), brings him back more frequently." Kirkus Reviews (starred review) March 1, 2012
About the Author
JIM DeFELICE is the author of many military thrillers and is a frequent collaborator with Stephen Coonts, Larry Bond, and Richard Marcinko, among other New York Times bestselling authors. His solo novels include Leopards Kill, Threat Level Black, and War Breaker. He lives in New York.
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The "Helios Conspiracy" is a work of fiction by author Jim DeFelice and would be classified in the action/thriller genre. The story is told from the perspective of an anonymous narrator with character dialog interlaced within the composition. The writing style is not complex and provides adequate descriptive use of the language providing vivid scenes and dialog intended for a more general readership.
The story in main revolves around a rogue FBI special agent by the name of Andy Fisher who is ensconced in a web of intrigue generated by Chinese and Russian agents that intend on foiling the launch of a satellite. The satellite is one designed to convert the sun's energy to microwave energy that can be broadcast to receiving antennae on earth thereby providing a source of fuel free and pollution free energy - the project was called "Helios". As the story opens, we find a young woman, Katherine Feder, a former college classmate and love interest of agent Fisher attending an alternative energy conference in New York. Katherine Feder works as the VP of finance for Icarus Sun Works the primary contractor who owns the technology for Helios and who is engaged in launching the first test satellite of its kind. Tired from the day's activities, Katherine returns to her hotel room planning on a bath and sleep when she is interrupted by a knock on the door from room service. Admitting the room service waiter, Katherine turns to retrieve her handbag for a tip. Katherine saw many things in the instant she turned back to face the waiter - the cart, a bottle of champagne, candy, a pair of glasses, a gun, and her murderer.
DeFelice provides a fairly complex plot that moves steadily if somewhat dully. The action scenes are relegated to the last few chapters of the novel. In general, the reader is forced to discover the intricacies of deception right along with special agent Fisher. There was not a great deal of surprise in learning the details of the tale, as they were fairly obvious and to a large degree anticlimactic. The main characters in the story were ho-hum forgettable. Fisher came across as plain vanilla leaning towards a comic book hero and many of the rest of the cast had similar comic book characteristics, either hero or villain. As to the bit players, DeFelice's own description of some of those found them only remarkable in the IQ department; a dichotomy as it generally results in their undoing. Overall, I thought the work was pretty dull; interesting enough on a low level but it lacked energy. There wasn't a great deal that made me want to know what would happen next and I had little interest in the Helios project anyway - it was a dull premise.
So I recommend this novel with reservations and rate it "Pleasurable - not memorable".