Review – ‘The Black Lion: Satan’s Kingdom’ by Anthony Karakai



A modern spy thriller set in Hungary

Jackson is one of an elite covert force, ‘The Black Lions’, recruited from the CIA and ready to deal out violent justice. His team mates are a mixed bag of ex-security services from around the world.

In Budapest people keep disappearing; their bodies are found missing vital organs. The main suspect is Molotch, a scientist, and his thugs. A young investigative journalist, Florence, was on their trail and has now gone missing. Jackson is sent to Hungary to meet her sister and track down Molotch. He’s spectacularly successful.

Becoming Molotch’s bodyguard after saving him from a mugging (organised by The Black Lions), Jackson gets inside the organisation and discovers just how depraved Molotch is. But matters take a turn for the worse when Jackson discovers his connection to a terrorist organisation determined to wipe out thousands of Europeans.

The Black Lions go in to battle determined to prevent this massive terrorist attack, but find they are expected. More than just a terrorist attack is stopped in the final showdown.

This novel reminds me of one of the more recent James Bond films, from the modern problems of terrorism, to the stern but maternal female commanding officer and the damaged operative, but not nearly so well written. It has a good plot, but the weakness of the writing, such as the errors in spelling and grammar – the continuous use of ‘site’ when ‘sight’ is meant for instance – let it down.

Written in the first person, from Jackson’s point of view, the action is immediate and well described, but I found a couple of things (other than the terrible spelling and editing) irritating: there is a lot of unnecessary repetition of information and the introduction of the young investigative journalist whose entire purpose seems to be as a vehicle for providing vital information – she’s a plot device not a character. All the characters are fairly one dimensional and most are barely sketched out.

While I liked the novel overall, the flaws in writing irritated me and I didn’t particularly enjoy the process of reading it. That being said, I was glued to it for the last third of the book as events came to a head.

There’s a lot of violence, swearing, and some sex, so probably not for YA audience or anyone of a sensitive disposition.  If you want some uncomplicated action with a bit of a plot, then this novel might keep you entertained.



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