- File Size: 3448 KB
- Print Length: 269 pages
- Publisher: World Castle Publishing, LLC (May 15, 2017)
- Publication Date: May 15, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06ZZNRDHW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,574,296 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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Incognito Kindle Edition
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When Pope Gregoire XVII disappears, and no one claims to have any idea where he could be, speculation as to his whereabouts, safety, and fate escalate, and soon the frantic search to find him spreads from Italy to further afield.
As the tension mounts, The League of Invisible Knights, send Ayden Tanner, an ‘officially dead’ former member of the British SAS, and his team, to find him. However as soon as Ayden arrives in Geneva for his meeting with the Papacy’s Press Secretary Rafael Rabolini, the problems begin.
This is a truly gripping read with a nail biting good vs. evil plot. Khalid Talib in his own vividly descriptive way, takes his readers on a worldwide adventure as Ayden and his team find themselves pitting their wit against a merciless enemy with a devastating plan…
Well written, with amazing characters and an action packed plot, this story will keep its reader on the edge of their seats until the very last page.
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
The novel begins when the pope is kidnapped by an anti-Muslim organisation called The Sword. In response an anonymous, apolitical, non-religious group known as The League of Invisible Nights sends three agents to help the Vatican locate the pope. The plot centres around their efforts to uncover who is behind the kidnapping and save the pope.
The political aspect of the novel is what I found most interesting. Corruption is in evidence everywhere – from the Vatican to the police and at the highest government level. The Sword originated as a guerrilla force created by the CIA and NATO after WW2 but is now funded by big business and headed up by a Dutch Senator. It consists of a group of individuals motivated by their opposition to immigration and in particular Muslims.
The novel is very topical given that Islamophobia is on the increase due to fear often perpetuated by the media. Talib uses his novel to show how easy it would be to manipulate the public mood by staging acts of terror and blaming a specific group of people – in this case Muslims. The kidnapping of the pope is played out in front of the world’s eyes and Muslim extremists are presented as being behind the potential atrocity. Talib very cleverly captures our obsession with news as the kidnapping story is played over and over on a loop on every news channel.
Talib uses his novel as a means of challenging stereotypes about Islam. For instance, he goes to great lengths to show that women are not oppressed, pointing, for instance, to the fact that they don’t have to change their name to that of their husband. While I applaud this, I did feel that it was slightly overdone, and not necessarily fitting with the genre of the book.
Another strength of the novel is the way it spans different parts of Europe: Geneva, Venice, Rome and The Vatican City are all brought alive by Talib’s descriptive skills. The sense of awe, history and beauty are successfully conveyed which lends an added layer of mystery to the proceedings.
Incognito is a novel written for readers who love plot driven, fast paced action and adventure. The action is relentless and there are very few quiet, reflective moments to try and figure out what’s going on; I think some contrast might have improved the reading experience for me.
The pace of the novel also has a massive impact on the characterisation. This is a novel with lots of characters but the death count is phenomenal. A new, potentially interesting character would be introduced only to be killed off by the end of the chapter. We are told that they all have backgrounds in the armed services but that’s about it. A little more insight into the characters would have made me care more about what happened to them.
The biggest disappointment for me is Isabelle Gaugher who Talib presents as being equal to the men. However, when we are first introduced to her she makes a coarse comment about her menstruation that is clearly meant to show she’s ‘one of the men’ but it just felt inappropriate. Her tough no-nonsense attitude is then justified by the fact that she has previously been raped. I think Talib had good intentions in wanting to create a strong female character but then felt he had to make her ‘damaged’ which effectively offsets her strength. Couldn't she just have been strong, full stop, without being coarse or having 'issues'?
I am probably not quite the target audience for this novel which, despite my misgivings, has many merits. If you enjoy fast paced action adventure that is very much plot-based then this one is for you. I can imagine it being a great holiday read for anyone who wants to lose themselves in a political thriller.
From Ayden's first stop in Geneva to meet up with his crew, trouble hits hard and leaves the Ayden and his crew scrambling to find a leak in their communication network, while eluding both the police and their attackers. Connecting to Cavallo, from The Entity, Ayden, Isabelle and Guy are under almost constant attack. Cavallo's secret office is overtaken and his entire staff killed. The enemy is coming from both the outside and from within the ranks of The Holy See itself. Who is really behind the plot to ignite a Holy War between the Christian and Muslim worlds?
This is a taut, well written thriller that takes us from Switzerland, to the waterways of Venice, the arid desert of Egypt, the hills of Istanbul and the secret passages under Saint Peter's. The sharp, crisp story line never lets the action slow but it also lets us get to know the characters. I really enjoyed the unique twist that the author based this story on and I am looking forward to reading more of his work.
Top international reviews
Just one more chapter takes on a whole new meaning hilst reading this dynamic & fast paced story.
The locations are gorgeously descriptive without boring you, the plot forges ahead faster than a Bullet train & the characters & dialogue keep the pace going with slowing it down.
There's barely time to breathe before danger appears again and again.
A breathless enjoyment and one I heartily recommend.
I so wish we could have the three main characters in another future story - how about it Khaled.
Once I've recovered from this, by say reading a Dickens novel, I'm going to read Gun Kiss!