Thriller readers who enjoy novels that revolve around terrorist struggles will relish Paladine‘s special brand of excitement; for here the action and interplays focus on an ex-military man who becomes a CIA assassin and then retires, only to find his inadvertent killing of a terrorist, saving dozens of lives, sends him on another career path: specializing in killing other terrorists.
In his new alter ego persona of ‘Paladine’, Robert’s nearly-supernatural killing prowess is unequalled, and his life and purposes expand far beyond the character’s initial introduction in Eade’s prior Beyond All Recognition.
It was a logical transition for Robert, because retirement after an active military career and professional killing assignments has never seemed a satisfying pursuit for the rest of his life. Fueled with a new purpose backed by a sense of righteousness and justice, he’s now in the perfect position to expand the talents and purposes he honed in his prior careers.
One of the devices Kenneth Eade consistently employs that sets his writing apart from others is a solid attention to not only developing protagonists and following their most minute motivations and influences, lending authenticity and real feeling to their encounters and choices; but his ability to provide a deeper focus on bringing their individual perspectives into a wider world view.
In this case, Robert’s choice leads to the creation of not just a new career, but an urban legend; and his newfound persona is perfectly captured in a gripping description that’s one of the hallmarks of Eade’s compelling style: “The attempted “McDonald’s massacre” had been foiled by a miracle man, a lone, armed soldier who had somehow spotted the 22-year-old terrorist, neutralized him before he could deliver his deadly payload, and slipped away like a super hero without claiming any of the accolades. Internet reports melded with eyewitness accounts on Instagram and with social media gossip. The man was hailed as a hero, a paladin in the urban folklore culture of the Millennials, whose minds infused what most people knew as real with the virtual reality of video gaming.”
This trademark approach embeds Paladine with a sense of purpose and realism that embrace sub-themes of honor, redemption, military precision, and a host of attitudes and insights that ultimately foster a professional killer fueled with new social perspective on a never-ending mission to keep his life meaningful and super-charged with cat-and-mouse action.
To say that Paladine is a typical thriller about terrorism or hit men or even lone wolves is to over-simplify its complexity, which holds its strength in layers of meaning. Each chapter thus not only expands Robert’s encounters and reactions, but adds yet another piece to the puzzle of his transformative new life and career.
The result is a satisfyingly original, compelling piece that moves well beyond genre writing and into the realm of military precision, insight, and adventure, linking action into modern-day pursuits and concerns with the precision of a surgeon.
Paladine is very highly recommended reading for anyone looking for a protagonist and purpose that goes the extra mile, and then keeps on running, following an urban legend’s ever-elusive dash towards the finish line of his life. D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Paladine is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.com at: https://www.amazon.com/PALADINE-terrorism-assassination-thriller-Anti-Terrorism-ebook/dp/B01KKXBP32