Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn
Michael Tiranno is many men in one. He’s a casino owner, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur, and, after foiling a terrorist attack five years ago, a hero. But to others, he is The Tyrant, a foe to be conquered at any and all costs. As Michael deals with shady political maneuvering, a mysterious accident at his casino, and the financial predations of a ruthless rival, he discovers far darker threats are lurking in the shadows.
As Michael’s girlfriend Scarlett, archaeologist and adventurer herself, delves into the past to unlock a great mystery of her own, both she and Michael find themselves in the crosshairs of a monster, one who traffics in the flesh of children, and one who will not stop until he has destroyed everything in his path, Michael included. Can Michael crack the mystery of Black Scorpion, defy the odds once more and save the future, or has he finally bitten off more than even he can chew?
For those familiar with Land’s Caitlin Strong books, be warned; Black Scorpion is something entirely different. Yes, it does have those certain touches that lend themselves nicely to Land’s storytelling style. The deft mixing of history and the present narrative. Action sequences both cinematic and believable. A knack for peculiar side characters whom add color without stumbling into cartoonish excess.
But Black Scorpion has a bit of a mystical edge to it that the Caitlin Strong books lack. Michael and Scarlett’s interest in his medallion, as well as the diegetic narrative history crafted around it, add an intriguing tinge to the action, offering Land more leeway with the storytelling options available to him. Destiny, fate, luck vs. skill… these forces play a far greater role in this novel than in his other series, granting it a vibe all its own.
I was a little disappointed that, despite the regular mentions of events in the previous book, as a new reader I couldn’t entirely glean what had transpired five years ago, which marred the reading experience slightly. That being said, Land does manage to cover an immense amount of story within these pages. Family histories are revealed, the globe is spanned, and plenty of characters big and small get their moments in the spotlight.
Black Scorpion is fierce, ambitious, and a completely different animal from Land’s other fare. I never knew where on the planet we’d end up next, but I remained fully confident that Land knew every step ahead of us, where every bullet would land, where every twist led. And that’s far rarer than you’d think.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Author||Jon Land, Created by Fabrizio Boccardi|
|Page Count||448 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|