The Coming Storm by Greg Mosse – blogtour

Last year I read Mosse’s first novel, The Coming Darkness (reviewed for Shiny here). A labyrinthine thriller set in the near future in 2037 in a world ravaged by global warming and a killer virus, it introduced us to Alexandre Lamarque, who works for the French equivalent of MI6. Alex found himself caught up in a global conspiracy called the Coming Darkness which would end in Cyrenia, a new country formed from a bit of Libya, Benghazi and Tobruk. In an explosive climax, Alex, aided by colleagues Mariam and Amaury, effectively saved the world.

The Coming Storm begins shortly after the events of the first. Alex, Mariam and Amaury meanwhile, like astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin have become the most famous people on the planet. Their new celebrity makes them in demand, and their new boss Damien Gerest orders a three week holiday for the threesome to recharge their batteries and isolate them from the rest of the world’s attention. Alex and Mariam head for a government enclave in Biarritz, where Alex rests his injured leg and Mariam surfs.

However, not all of the conspiracy’s people were exterminated. Enough remain to recruit afresh and become the Coming Darkness this time. It’s little things that are happening in general, although there is a failed attempt on the lithium mines which are Mali’s rich prized industry.

Back in service, Alex finds himself on a mission to Mali to meet a French energy entrpreneur who is ostensibly trying to sell his vision of how to re-green Mali to the government. Alex just being there for show really. But his famous intuition senses something wrong. Amaury ends up in Egypt at a presentation at the Aswan Dam to Zeina, who helped in the recent crisis. Mariam is in the high Pyrenees at her mother’s funeral. All three are not only heroes, but also targets of course…

I’ll leave it there plotwise. Needless to say, as before the politics are very complicated; as thrillers go, this one is intense, requiring close attention, but thanks to the great characterisation, and prescient near-future setting it is never dull for a second. I would recommend that you read the first book before this one though so you learn more about some of the lesser characters in the French secret service who will crop up again, and to understand the politics behind the conspiracy and the new country of Cyrenia etc. I did feel that this was a slightly awkward sequel at times for Mosse to pull off, and being an obvious transitional novel to what could be the third part of a trilogy is always difficult, setting up a final battle. For although everything in The Coming Storm works towards a series of big climaxes in which we won’t know until the epilogue whether the trio are alive or dead, plenty is left unresolved, so you just know there’ll be another volume. I very much enjoyed the style of Mosse’s writing combining a literary thriller with action once again, however, and look forward to what’s ‘coming’ next!

Source: Review copy – thank you. Moonflower paperback original, 356 pages.

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