Review of Murray McDonald’s SCION

As a writer in the techno-thriller genre, you would assume that I have read just about every thriller out there, from both brand name and independent authors alike. Sadly, prior to starting the first Black Flagged book, it had been nearly a year since I had read a good techno/political thriller…mainly because I had grown tired of my previous favorites. Tom Clancy’s latest novels just fell flat (at what seemed like a million pages) and Ludlum’s recent releases have gone largely ignored (I stopped reading him long ago). The most recent book had probably been one of my favorite Forsyth’s thrillers. I re-read his novels frequently.

Joining the Indie book publishing revolution has opened a whole new world of authors to me, especially in the thriller genre. Murray McDonald joins these ranks with SCION. I have already started another book my Murray, which also hooked me from the page one. With writers like McDonald (and a few others) on the scene, I can comfortably fill my Kindle with excellent books that will never disappoint.

“Murray McDonald’s first novel took me by complete surprise. I had downloaded it several weeks ago, allowing it to be pushed further down my queue by newer purchases. Standard procedure for my Kindle. I’m really glad I didn’t allow this one to slip away, since the discovery of this author couldn’t have been better timed. With summer approaching, McDonald’s titles will keep me busy

SCION is a fast paced, no holds barred techno-thriller that will keep you on engaged from the very first page. The reader will be introduced to a number of nefarious characters, from the highest level politicians and government cabinet members to merciless, street level assassins, all of which play a role in a conspiracy so deep and omnipotent, that you will at first feel a sense of despair and hopelessness for the protagonists. As the story builds steam, the balance carefully shifts, putting you in the middle of an all out battle for domination. Unlike many conspiracy thrillers, there is a personal connection that transcends duty for the protagonist, which makes the plot all the more enjoyable and satisfying. Revenge is a theme I seek out in thrillers, and you will find no shortage in this novel.
The author makes convincing use of technology to support the plot, though it is important to note that the human elements drive the story. I particularly enjoyed the employment of weapons systems by The Unit, as directed by the upper echelon conspirators…I won’t spoil the fun, but McDonald puts some of the world’s best equipment to work against anyone that stands in their way. I loved it, particular the Strykers. The war against the drug cartels would be over tomorrow if the U.S. government could use assets like he portrayed.

Overall character development is strong. McDonald doesn’t make it easy for the reader to guess who will live or die. He gives good detail into the background and thought process of characters, even if they aren’t going to be around long. This gives the entire cast good depth and supports the rich narrative.

Gritty and unapologetic, this one will leave you wondering about the world’s chess board, and questioning the loyalty of the pawns moving across that board in support of the Kings.”