Paul Dale Anderson
2AM Publications (530 pp.)
ISBN: 978-0-937491-15-7; September 11, 2015
The ghost of a murdered U.S. Army Ranger plans to thwart a plot to assassinate world leaders in Anderson’s (Pinking Shears, 2015, etc.) supernatural thriller.
Maj. Bill Ramsey is dead, but he won’t go into the light until he completes his mission. He’d been in Pakistan to infiltrate a secret base for training American mercenaries. His spirit guide, Vajrapani, a bodhisattva (enlightened being) tells him how to share a body. Ramsey enters the momentarily unprotected (and orgasmically distracted) body of
ex-Marine Randy Edwards, who’s already being wooed by the Worldwide Logistical Security Consultants and Transportation Corporation. WLSCTC is gathering former military personnel and plotting “something big,” which Ramsey hopes to stop. Fortunately, he has plenty of people and entities to help, including Vajrapani and intelligence analyst Deb Johnson of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. There’s a lot to ponder in Anderson’s novel, which blends abstract notions (like the astral plane) with palpable action sequences, but the author manages not to lose the reader. When Ramsey speaks to Deb, for example, it’s perfectly clear that he’s using Randy’s physical body. In the same vein, many characters are, for various reasons, familiar with bodhisattvas and the spiritual realm, making it easier for readers to accept that Deb and boyfriend Bill Porter can spiritually traverse the astral plane and physically teleport. Reincarnation, too, plays an essential part to the tale and explains why 12-year-old sex slave Anong becomes an efficient ally for the good guys. The story is sometimes a little too conceptual, like the description of spirits who’ve learned “how to manipulate the subtle energies from which was woven the very fabric of the universe.” But Anderson adds rousing elements such as gunfights, the suggestion of a mole inside INSCOM, and surprising connections (i.e., Ramsey knows the man whose body is occupied by Vajrapani). There’s also a bit of suspense; Earl Wright is an unmistakable villain recruiting mercenaries for WLSCTC, but the one(s) actually behind the plan for world domination may be something much more than human—and much worse.
Renders spirits and the preternatural realm as tangible scenes of action and intensity.