Becker, James - Echo of the Reich
ECHO OF THE REICH is the fifth book by James Becker in his series about British policeman, Chris Bronson, and his ex-wife Angela, who is an archeology expert at the British Museum. In all previous books before this one, Chris and Angela have had to race against the clock to solve a mystery and catch criminals. This story is no different, in that the pressure is on for Bronson, but it differs in that this time he is very much in it alone. Fans of Beckerís books will be delighted to hear that this one is every bit as awesome as the last four. They should also be pleased to hear about the change in focus onto mostly just Bronson Ė producing a different feel to the story and thereby preventing the danger of these fantastic books ending up too similar and eventually becoming too dry and familiar.
Set in London, in the build up to the 2012 Olympics, Bronson is asked to go undercover for The Met and infiltrate a group of thugs, who have been hindering the completion of the Olympic stadia by vandalising construction machinery. The men have been particularly difficult to catch and, following the murder of a caretaker, the police decide to up the ante and ensure that the gang is caught before the Opening Ceremony, so that The Games can pass by smoothly. Bronson wades in to the fray and is pretty soon up to his eyeballs in trouble, as he demonstrates to the thugs that he is who he says he is. What Bronson discovers about the group he has infiltrated makes his blood run cold and the sinister plot behind the not-so-innocent vandalism is so far-fetched that The Met donít believe him. Bronson is now on his own. With a warrant out for his own arrest he has a matter of hours in which to conclude his mission, before tens of thousands of people die horrible deaths in front of a watching world.
Once again, Becker has written a captivating novel that is chock full of facts, with his own clever and imaginative twists added on to them. There is even an interesting Authorís Note at the end of the book, detailing the truth behind his ideas for this story. Horrifically, the truth is at least as chilling as the novelÖ
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland