Title: Satan’s Gold
Author: Michael Ray Ewing
This story follows Tyler Jackson’s hunt for “Daemon,” a computer hacker who once shot the former FBI agent and caused him to lose his job, his fiancé, and much of his sanity, to say nothing of his sleep. Tyler is convinced Daemon’s cunning and intelligence will ruin his world if he turns a blind eye and goes back to living a “normal life,” and he’s willing to break a few laws and try his fiancé’s patience if it means finally bringing the criminal to justice.
Yet Daemon’s identity and motivations are far more complicated than Tyler dreams, and as he uncovers more details about the man and his operation, he finds himself wondering if the hunt is truly worth it. His hopes for the future hang on his success, but even if he wins, he could end up losing everything by becoming “just one more liability” to the various people who want Daemon dead or silenced, no matter what it takes.
The book manages to show a range of characters with complicated pasts, to where the line between heroes and villains is difficult to determine at times. There are moments when even the most hardened criminal seems to have a good reason, a heart, and yet the author manages to keep most of focus and relatability squarely on Tyler and his team, all of whom are easy targets for the FBI if they need someone to blame Daemon’s crimes on.
The narration beautifully balances keeping things from certain character’s perspectives without revealing too much, to where, many times, readers are left eagerly guessing about what just happened and why. The more gruesome details are left out while still providing an accurate, memorable account of what is taking place, though there are times when revisiting a place can lead to hearing it described one more time, even though it was already discussed in detail before.
The story starts out a bit abruptly, to where some readers might feel like they’ve missed a book as the author starts the story with Tyler’s ongoing attempt to find Daemon and uncover his identity. The sheer volume of references to what has happened in the past between Daemon and Tyler could leave readers feeling like this book is the second in a series rather than the first. However, once the various threads are introduced and well underway, they create an effective juxtaposition which lets the plot show Tyler and his team, the CIA, the FBI, and Daemon himself as each plot and scheme towards their desired goals.
This book makes for a very compelling read, with a plot that keeps revealing just a little more in every chapter. Offering a thrilling story full of adventure, conflict, and characters who largely look after themselves and those they care about in the midst of a world of corruption and greed, this novel will delight readers who love technological thrillers and realistic stories of behind-the-scenes deals that go badly. The narration is beautifully phrased and powerfully gripping while the pacing is steady and full of believable complications as the various “interested parties” try to track down Daemon and the money for their own purposes.
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